This second instalment of Mark Brownless’ new retelling of the Robin Hood legend is as engaging and full of action as the first. As the tension between the rebels in Sherwood Forest and the soldiers of Guy of Gisborne escalates, the reader is drawn deeper into the forest and positioned alongside Robin of Locksley’s band, ready for battle.
The characters are developed with more complexity as the story progresses, so that the reader sees their humanity as well as their heroism. The author has explored more of the back stories behind key characters such as Robin and Little John, and the growing familiarity with them further engages the reader’s loyalties.
Unlike many of the older accounts of Robin Hood that I remember, this one features strong and independent female characters who make valuable contributions to the outlaw cause, rather than looking prettily helpless and needing to be rescued or defended. This certainly doesn’t come across as a 21st century construct based on feminist sensitivities or politics, though – it feels genuine and respectful, and reminds the reader of the historical fact that there were indeed women living and fighting for the cause alongside the men, and they were equally as brave and committed to resisting the corrupt agents of government that ruled over them all.
I’m really enjoying this series, and I’m looking forward to the next instalment.
‘Locksley Vol. 2 – Sherwood’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.