cover image Outcasts of the Wildwood

Outcasts of the Wildwood

Rachel Atwood. DAW, $17 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1757-4

Sherwood Forest is in danger in Atwood’s enchanting sequel to Walk the Wild with Me. Little John’s time as the Green Man is up and he’s passing the mantel to his youngest son, Verne. During the year Verne takes to prepare, the forest will be without a protector, even as, outside the forest, John’s oldest son, banished by his father, plots with Sir Phillip Marc, the Sheriff of Nottingham. Meanwhile Nick, an orphan at Locksley Abbey, befriends the forest’s mystical inhabitants, including Robin of Locksley, who has been cursed to spend half of each day in the gnome-like form of Robin Goodfellow. The rest of the time he’s Robin Hood, desperately searching for his love, Marian, who lies hidden in a cursed sleep. As Marc gears up his attack against Sherwood, there’s a shift in the forest’s magic, and Robin’s time runs short. Atwood makes it easy for new readers to get up to speed, though her prolific, hand-holding exposition may frustrate fans who are likely to feel as if they’re being told things they already know. Still, it’s a fun take on a familiar legend, and lovers of Robin Hood stories are sure to enjoy Atwood’s reimagining. (Jan.)