The Adventures of Robin Hood Roger Lancelyn Green

Default Smiles Imagine you don’t know who Robin Hood is. That’s impossible, right? We’ve known about Robin Hood for practically our whole lives. He’s amazing. But personally, we’ve never actually read about him. So we jumped at the chance to get our hands on a Robin Hood book.
Default Sharky There’s a lot of different versions, so we did some poking around to see how old our version was. I thought it’d be nice if we could read something as close to the original folk legend as possible. You know how constant adaptations change stuff. Sometimes the character you thought you knew isn’t what they’re like at all.
Surprised Smiles This book says it used sources from all sorts of old stories and folk ballads, so that sounds pretty authentic. But after that poking around it turns out the most authentic version wouldn’t have been much fun. Half the characters are missing and nobody can seem to work out if Robin’s good or not, or even a human or not. It took some later versions to solidify him into the person we know and love.
Default Sharky Then that version of him kicked off a ton of stories and ballads, some of which brought in Maid Marian and Friar Tuck, and those were the source for our book. So… it’s not as authentic as we thought.
Happy Smiles But we’ve got our hands on exactly the kind of Robin Hood we grew up with, and all the characters, and that’s exactly how we like it. Much better than being authentic. It was still really fun trying to dig into all the different versions, but there wasn’t enough time. As it is, I got so distracted looking up different versions and watching film clips that I forgot all about actually finishing the book until the last minute. Whoops.
Default Sharky For a minute there I thought I was going to have to follow him around and read out passages like he does with me. I… can’t really do that.
smiles-intensifies I’m too fast to keep up with!
Default Sharky So, for anyone who isn’t sure what Robin Hood is about, it’s about a cruel king and his supporters who steal from and oppress the people constantly, a band of outlaws living in the woods who steal from them, the outlaws are led by Robin Hood who is apparently the most amazing fighter and archer who ever walked on two legs, his girlfriend Maid Marian is apparently the most beautiful woman in the universe, and in some cases is the second most amazing fighter and archer who ever walked on two legs. And now you’re up to speed. … I know, hearing it like that it’s very over the top and the heroes are infallible.
Sassy Smiles Heroic characters who merrily stand up to everything are Sharky’s guilty pleasure and he’ll never admit it aloud.
Angry Sharky 2 Shut up.
Happy Smiles While we let Sharky struggle with the realisation that he’s sappy and sentimental, let’s talk about the book. Is it over the top? Um… yes. Is Robin mostly infallible? … actually, yeah. But it’s the kind of over the top, loud adventure that, once you get into it, you really get into it. Now I’m not saying nobody dies. People do, they’re getting killed left, right and centre for breaking the king’s laws, but the stories focus less on the death and more on the fact that at least there isn’t going to be MORE death for a little while. … it’s more optimistic than I’m making it sound. And Maid Marian is pretty amazing. The only version of her I’ve ever seen is the damsel in distress. In this one she holds her own ridiculously well, standing up to anyone who tries to push her around or marry her off. There’s even a section where she and Robin are both in disguise, don’t recognise each other, and have a duel. They’re equally matched, which is great.
Happy Sharky2 Each chapter is a separate story in its own right, so when you read it all the way through, you can just dip back into whichever adventure you liked the most. Some of them are about him outwitting the people after him, some of them are how he meets or recruits the other named characters in his band. Mostly by… fighting with them. His recruitments are weird. “Oh I’ve heard this guy is strong let me try and beat him up and then ask him to join us.”
Confused Smiles There’s also a very weird segment where one guy’s being so amazing at defending his own area from trespassers, and he’s in love with this beautiful lady who loves him too, and goes through this whole ordeal to win the father’s approval. That’s not the weird part. The weird part is that this guy and his lady get so well known that more tales are being sung about him in certain areas than about Robin Hood, and Maid Marian gets sulky and annoyed because she’s jealous. Jealous because how dare anyone be talking about any man except Robin Hood, but mostly because why is everyone saying that other lady is the most beautiful lady in the country. It’s a strange moment bit of character that I wasn’t very fond of, given she’s been so great throughout. And she goes back to being a great character again and being very kind to that other lady, but only after she’s gone to look at her and confirm that the other one isn’t as beautiful as she is. That’s some evil witch in a fairy tale level of jealousy over here.
Confused Sharky Speaking of evil witches, there’s one in this book. She’s just there for a chapter but it’s a very strange detour.
Sad Smiles Oh no, oh yes, I just remembered. There’s a terrible, horrible, evil person in this book and I can’t even tell you about them because it’ll spoil the last couple of chapters. But they’re terrible, horrible and evil and WHY. It’s not Prince John. Or the Sherriff of Nottingham, or Guy of Gisbourne or any of the general evil prince supporters. It’s not even the witch. I’d argue this person is the worst of the entire book because I can’t even tell you aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Default Sharky I’d have to agree. The last couple of chapters are… depressing, to be honest. But the book’s still definitely worth a look, full of a lot of fun and adventure and daring deeds.
Default Smiles See, I told you, you’re sentimental.
Angry Sharky 4 I said shut up.


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