War rages across the land. In the wake of Magna Carta, King John’s treachery is revealed and the barons rise against him once more. Fighting with them is the Earl of Locksley – the former outlaw Robin Hood, and his right hand man Sir Alan Dale. When the French enter the fray, Robin and Alan must decide where their loyalties lie – with the king or their land. Death may wait for us all, but can Robin Hood pull off his greatest ever trick and cheat the Grim Reaper one last time just as England needs him most?
Now, as someone who has been a huge fan of the Robin Hood myth throughout my life, the one thing I’ve always found frustrating is the death of Robin Hood. It may be sweet and tender, but it always seemed a little weak, more of a postscript to the stories than a real ending. So when I heard that the last book in Angus Donald’s brilliant Outlaw series, I was, understandably, a little worried!
I shouldn’t have been though. Donald has crafted an epic end to his series – one that brings the characters together one final time, in a journey filled with excitement, betrayal, love, and emotion. I won’t go too much into the plot for fear of spoilers, but suffice to say that this is a masterfully written book that will please fans of the series immensely – the series has always been leaps and bounds ahead of other Robin Hood adaptions due to the huge amounts of humanity and personality that Donald injects into his characters. People here love, die, make mistakes, grieve and form complicated relationships with each other, meaning that their drama is never overshadowed by that of the Kings and Crusaders fighting throughout, but all comes together to form books that have been constantly exciting, and made an old legend into a contemporary tale about brotherhood, corruption, love, and the choices that shape the path of our lives.
As for The Death of Robin Hood – I’ll say that it’s everything I feared, and also everything I hoped for. A little vague, I know, but hopefully you’ll understand when you read it. I’ll miss this series – it’s been an epic ride, and I for one will miss journeying with the fantastic characters that Donald breathed new life into. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.