cover image The Outlaws of Sherwood

The Outlaws of Sherwood

Robin McKinley. Greenwillow Books, $17 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07178-3

McKinley brings to the Robin Hood legend a robustly romantic view. She renders it anew by fully developing the background and motive of each member of the merry band, from Robin's ``crime'' that sends him into the woods, to Marian's subterfuge as she straddles the worlds of the nobility and of the outlaws. Their habitations, foresting and thieving is explained, and McKinley, in a thoughtful afterword, reveals both her debt to and her differences with previous versions of the story. There is no reason, however, that readers of those stories might not enjoy this one as well. Although the author does fall into the politics indigenous only to the British isles, she presents a solid piece of tale-weaving, ingenious and ingenuous, causing readers to suspend belief willingly for a rousing good time. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)