cover image Walk the Wild with Me

Walk the Wild with Me

Rachel Atwood. DAW, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-75641484-9

Characters from Robin Hood and English folklore gambol through Atwood’s vibrant historical fantasy debut. Twelve-year-old orphan Nick Withybeck is raised by monks in Locksley Abbey. When the Celtic goddess Elena chooses Nick as her vessel in the mortal world, she reveals his true heritage to him; Nick has the wild blood and is a child of the forest. Nick’s newfound magic, combined with the goddess who whispers in his mind, enable him to recognize Little John, of Robin Loxley’s merry band, as “the Green Man,” a mythical creature of the wood. When Queen Mab of the Faeries kidnaps Little John’s lover, Little John enlists Nick to use his special connection with Elena to help get her back. Infusing the story of the Sherwood outlaws with magic is a well-established trope, but shifting the focus from Robin to Little John is a welcome innovation, and Nick’s fresh eyes breathe life into the legend. Atwood’s lively tale is sure to appeal to lovers of mythology and folklore. (Dec.)