Monica Furlong,
Robin's Country
(Knopf, 1995)

Robin's Country is another retelling of the ever-popular Robin Hood myth, but it's not one of the more successful. This rather slight forage into folklore never strays far from the traditional legend, and there are very few instances of the unusual creativity present in author Monica Furlong's superior Juniper & Wise Child.

While all the traditional people are present, almost all of them are given very little character to work with. Even Robin and Marian are mere caricatures, given just enough information to give them personality beyond the legends.

To balance these flaws, Robin's Country contains plenty of action and is never dull. Dummy is a likeable enough protagonist, and his archery lessons, struggles to speak and relationships with the other characters are fairly interesting.

Not bad, on the whole; Robin's Country could lead the reader to Robin McKinley's realistic and complex Outlaws of Sherwood and perhaps even Jennifer Roberson's richly detailed Lady of the Forest.

by Jennifer Mo
28 January 2006

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