cover image Robin Hood: The Shadows of Sherwood Forest

Robin Hood: The Shadows of Sherwood Forest

Tilman Roehrig, trans. from the German by Oliver Latsch. Arctis, $18.95 (350p) ISBN 978-1-64690-007-7

Relayed in third-person perspective, mostly following Little John, this straightforward Robin Hood retelling by German author Roehrig (Erik the Red) hews closely to tradition. Readers familiar with the tales will recognize distinguishing incidents: the staff battle between Little John and Robin Hood when they first meet; Robin tricking Friar Tuck into carrying him across a stream; Robin and his men capturing a disguised King Richard, newly ransomed and returned from his Crusade; and more. Much, the miller’s teenage son; Will Scarlet; Gilbert Whitehand; and Marian are all present, and the Sheriff of Nottingham serves as primary villain. In a clear break from tradition, Marian is John’s young charge, adopted by him after the Sheriff’s soldiers kill everyone else in their village; thus, there is no question of romance between her and the adult Robin or Robert of Loxley. Feats of derring-do are spaced out by the mundanities of medieval living, slowing the pace while lending verisimilitude. The all-white adult main cast may deter some, but fans of the Saxon outlaw and folklore will find an assured iteration. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)