When he's caught stealing, young Alan Dale is forced to leave his family and go to live with a notorious band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest. Their leader is the infamous Robin Hood. A tough, bloodthirsty warrior, Robin is more feared than any man in the county. And he becomes a mentor for Alan; with his fellow outlaws, Robin teaches Alan how to fight - and how to win.
But Robin is a ruthless man - and although he is Alan's protector, if Alan displeases him, he could also just as easily become his murderer....
From bloody battles to riotous feast days to marauding packs of wolves, Outlaw is a gripping, action-packed historical thriller that delves deep into the fascinating legend of Robin Hood.
©2009 Angus Donald (P)2009 Library Magna Books Ltd
I started by thinking Graham Padden was a little mono tonal and was almost inclined to stop listening. However, there turned out to be more intonation than I originally suspected and an enjoyable story. I have even downloaded the next volume!
I'd like to say it was a jolly romp through Nottinghamshire but it is not. What we have here is a gritty, realistic and graphic port rail of what life was like in this time period. It's always a bit mean to draw comparisons but this book is very similar in nature and delivery to the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. For fans of historical adventure there are few books I have enjoyed more than this one. As long as you don't mind a few rather graphic descriptions of violence, and in one instance a young lad losing his virginity, you will almost certainly love this story. Definitely worth a credit.
Although there has been some criticism over the violent nature of Robin Hood character (who is no the "leading" character by the way), I must disagree. As the main character, Alan, describes the persona of Robin Hood is divided. He is as Friar Tuck says it "hot cold person". He has the strong inner circle for which he would do anything. And who is left out is literally left out. I have found the Outlaw series very interesting. But I guess that the same might go for this series. Those that like it, like it really much. But if you are outside the circle (might not like somewhat graphic violence for example) are really left out.
If you enjoyed Game Of Thrones in TV - here is a good place to continue! The final 8th book will be out next year, and I simply can't wait to listen to it.
Also note; the reader changes later in the series, but not for the worst!
No, he's too violent for my taste.
Maybe a bit more expression. He was OK.
My main reason for not finishing this book was nothing to do with the writing. I actually think the Author is a gifted story-teller, which is why I tried twice to read this. Telling the story from the point of view of one of the outlaws was a really nice touch too. No, my complaint was his interpretation of the Robin Hood character. While I think I understand what he was trying to do, put his own twist on the story and portray Robin as he probably would have been had he existed, to me, he missed the point. The whole reason Robin Hood is so loved is because he's not your typicle outlaw. He doesn't murder wantanly. He's not an inately cruel man and he cares for the suffering of others. He wouldn't have endured nearly so long if he was like Angus Donald's portrayal. I bought the whole series as I love everything to do with Robin Hood, but I'm sorry I did.
"Not bad Robin Hood Fiction"
I really don't like the title 'The Godfather of Sherwood Forest' because it implies a Mario Puzo type story which I think it is different then the overall truth of how all people existed back in the time this story takes place... Knights were not 100% chivalry & honor, it's feudal obviously so it works on this system. I love the military nuances & the beginning of longer blood battles & I would be interested to see how parts of this end, but I don't know if I'll get every book of the series. I'll probably get the last book & see how the end resolves.
The overall story doesn't hold up well as other authors but perhaps Donald has not written his best. If you like Robin Hood stories it could be worth it, but it depends on what else you've read. It obviously can't compare to Cornwell & Martin but its almost on Ludlow level, but its only one book I've read about this author.
Not the best type of books I've read in this genre...
"very good original story, keeps you riveted"
I like the style of writing and the reader is good as well
I compare this book to Conn Iggulden, Ben kane, and Bernard Cornwell type of books
not sure which is my favorite
Robin in my opinion
"A good story, but only as a stand-alone"
I wasn't sure I would like this, but I chose it on the strength of other reviews and it proved to be an engaging story. It was easy to root for the young protagonist, and the narrative pace was brisk.
I was pleased that there was a series to follow Outlaw, and if I had written this review prior to listening to the second installment in the series, I would have more enthusiasm about this great start. However, the second book, Warrior, was so disappointing that it colors my appreciation of the first book.
I enjoyed the story and the characters of Outlaw enough that I was willing to put up with the gory depictions of sadism that peppered the narrative. But the second book, Warrior, was all gore and no plot. I wish now that I had only listened to the first one and left it at that.
"A darker but realistic twist on a classic story"
Donald's story is an authentic view of the time-period and the characters that could have been the genesis of the Robyn Hood legend. He captures the larger historical background of 12th century England and vividly constructs events in Sherwood Forest that make this book a gripping and thoroughly enjoyable listen. Worth the credit...and the next book in this series is now on my wish list!
"I've read better but enjoyed the heck out of it"
It's fun first and historically accurate second. Give the book a shot if you are a fan of the Robin Hood myth and want to see a more believable version.
Never tried a book from this author before but I am going to continue the serious for sure. I knew I liked the Robin Hood stories as a kid but I never knew someone could bring it back to life so quickly with such detail that by the end you not only wonder if Robin Hood was real but are convinced and want to know more about his adventurous life!
"Great Version of the Robinhood Story"
Padded brought the story to life. I loved it.
The descriptions of daily life, and the battles made me feel like I was there.
"Not a child's story."
I felt the reader was perfect for this role. The story was excellent but did languish in a few spots.
All in all, it is an excellent listen.
This was not my usual genre of audio book but a friend recommended it. I'm glad he did. I couldn't wait to get back in my truck to listen to more. Excellent narration. The story moved quickly. Characters developed well. I'm looking forward to listening to the next in the series.
"An interesting story with real emotions that drive"
I Liked Robin, Little John, and the whole crew who banned together to try and form some hope of justice
Not read any who have the characters that these emotional issues forced them to trust one another.
This is my first and I was impressed with his professional performance and I look forward to read more of his audio books
I enjoyed the pagan celebration and their moon dance afterwards
I will get the next book in the series and look forward to reading it soon
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