I had loved Escape to Pirate Island and I enjoyed Outlaw a lot too. Niamh Murphy’s books remind me of the stories I loved as a child but in hers the heroes are women, which makes them so much better.
Outlaw is book one of a series full of promises. It tells the story of how Robyn Fitzwarren became Robyn Hood. With her father gone with the King on Crusade, Robyn, as the eldest child, is in charge of her family, a responsibility she takes very seriously. When the new Sheriff of Nottingham, spured on by his greedy wife, threatens to seize their manor if her mother doesn’t pay new and unfair taxes, Robyn sees no other way to earn enough money than to enter the Nottingham Fayre dressed as a boy to win the archery tournament, despite her best friend (and love interest) Marian’s misgivings. The plan goes perfectly well until everything goes terribly wrong.
The thing with retellings is that the reader already knows the story. The author’s job is not to surprise with plot twists (though there can also be some) but to make the tale at least as interesting and exciting as the original story, and hopefully more so. Mission accomplished for Niamh Murphy, I can’t wait for book two! Robyn is a sweet, honorable and brave young woman, with a stubborn streak. I also liked the secondary cast very much and will be happy to see more of Littlejohn and Marian, and maybe, in later books, Robyn’s mother and siblings. Ellie would make a great sidekick someday.
[…] I wrote in my review for Outlaw, the first Robyn Hood book, I would have loved these stories and their kickass heroines as a […]