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With the somewhat bizarre title of “Robin Hood in America” and a cover picture showing the outlaw’s face daubed with Native American war paint, potential readers might be forgiven for perhaps initially thinking about avoiding this new novel! However, if they did, they would certainly be missing out on what is undoubtedly one of the cleverest interpretations based on the traditional Robin Hood story and its legendary characters that I personally have ever read.
Against a background of a search in the New World for the kidnapped fiancée of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Nick Collins’ unique plot line portrays Robin in his early Twenties, just prior to becoming the iconic outlaw hero of English folklore and skilfully weaves familiar characters into roles that neatly fall into place to reflect the legend as we know it. All carefully juxtaposed to an accurate timeline that shrewdly adds credibility to the narrative. It’s a blend of plenty of surprises that combine some brutal action with deep moral and philosophical contemplation.
As the novel runs over 2 books, the pace of the story can at times seem to get bogged-down but then the author redeems himself with another unexpected twist. A particularly intriguing feature is the introduction of “the one who would betray them” that mysteriously intertwines with the main plot and keeps readers guessing until the end!
From the very first chapter, you are quickly aware that this is a narrative being written by someone who understands how to descriptively get visual imagery across to the reader and although it is Nick Collins’ debut novel, checking his credentials revealed that he is an experienced television scriptwriter who has worked on series such as “Apparitions”; “Murder in Suburbia” and “The Bill”.
I have read and reviewed many Robin Hood books over the years but this is the first one which I have found to be really “different” - perhaps even having the potential to become a movie that could fit well alongside the popular genre of 21st century historical fantasy drama, such as the “Game of Thrones” saga. You don’t have to be a Robin Hood fan to appreciate this book, as the storyline stands up in its own right, so I thoroughly recommend you give it a try and be prepared for a surprisingly new perspective on the background to the world renowned Robin Hood legend!
“Robin Hood in America” comes in two book parts: “A Finder of Trails” and “Great Deeds DoneBeyond The Seas” and is available through Amazon and other retail outlets.
Bob White, World Wide Robin Hood Society.