Book Review | Robyn Hood: Outlaw Princess by John Reynolds

Title: Robyn Hood: Outlaw Princess
Series: N/a
Author: John Reynolds
Publisher: Starblaze Publications
Release Date: 22nd September 2016
Pages: 84
Source: NetGalley
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

* A modern take on a classic story
* Robyn is transported back in time to Sherwood Forest
* Based on a full-length musical of the same name

Robyn Howard is a teenage schoolgirl. She lives with her father and her workaholic mother who always seems too busy for her. Robyn dreams of making a difference and wonders why there are so few famous women in history.

After her mother lets her down yet again, she finds herself having a really bad day at school, including quarelling with William, her boyfriend. There is a sudden violent lightning storm and Robyn is transported to a forest, dressed in medieval clothing and surrounded by young women who address her as Robyn Hood. She quickly realises that they regard her as the leader of their band — and that she’s in Sherwood Forest, about to launch a raid on King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robyn Hood: Outlaw Princess is based on a full-length musical of the same name for which the author wrote the storyline, dialogue and lyrics (music by Gary Daverne). The show has been widely performed in New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

Okay so… I’m not really too sure where to start with this review. I was interested due to a keen interest in Robin Hood and I loved the idea of a gender swap for one of my favourite historical characters.

It’s very short but then seeing as it’s a musical turned book I can’t really fault it for that reason. The main characters though I found to be highly unlikeable. Robyn’s completely right to want more emphasis on women in history but the males and even women around her are infuriating with how they react to her passion on the topic. And then her temper tantrums just seem far too childish for her age also, more like that of a 13 year old at the most.

Even in what seems to be more like a dream sequence towards the end things feel hazy. Rumours that the female outlaws are being taught to read, which seems a strange rumour to be spread about a gang who steal from the rich and give to the poor, then the Sheriff condemns this but a bit later we read that he arranged for Robyn to be assigned a tutor for French, writing, and… reading. Not to mention that even though she was sent to live with him it says she’d never met him?

I couldn’t believe in any of the love interests either but that’s down to the comments they’d made and what seemed a lack of chemistry. Albeit this isn’t the main story it was still in the back of my mind.

I really wanted to like this book a lot more, I think it would appeal to a younger age hence my rating of 3/5 stars however I think it should be read with someone who explains that the characters are mostly wrong to portray women as not important to history.



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