Thursday, May 29, 2014

Outlaw

By: Angus Donald
Location: FIC DON
Genre: Robin Hood


If you like your folklore with a huge slice of realism packed with danger, adventure, drama and action, Angus Donald is your man. If you love historical fiction with a bite this is for you. If you like your myths and legends on the wild side, here you go.


This is violent, this is bloodthirsty, this is no pretty version of Robin Hood- it is gory and brutal, its pagan with Celtic rituals and it portrays England in the middle ages as it really was- hard, filthy and base.
This is no Robin Hood skipping through a leafy green forest with a band of merry men humming to a mandolin, this is a brutal villian who uses violence to achieve his goals.
In many ways this is the novel for fans of the medieval world, all the elements you would want to see are here: Outlaws, castles, knights, a Jewish character, damsels in distress, dungeons, sieges, battles, witches and Templars, its all here but woven together in a way that avoids cliche.
I looked down at the first man I had ever killed. I stared at him. My eyes were pricking with tears. And I reached forward to … to touch him, to apologise, to beg his forgiveness for ending his young life – I don’t know what. I pulled my hand back, and looked up and away from him. I saw Robin above me, standing on the wagon, an arrow nocked at his bow, searching for a fresh victim. His eyes met mine. He nodded at me, and shouted; and above the screams of battle, I could hear his strong confident voice as clear as if he were next to me: ‘A fine kill, Alan. Neatly done. We’ll make a warrior of you yet.’ He smiled at me, a relaxed careless grin. I stared at him, my mind whirling. And then by some strange alchemy my mood changed, I became infected with his courage. Where I had felt sick and weak at having cut short a young life, I now felt a glorious surge of blood to my limbs. I looked down again at the dead boy at my feet and I found my hand reaching for my sword. I grasped its plain wooden handle and, with a great heave, I tugged it loose from the vice of his backbone. Then I stood straight, lifted my chin, steadied my shaking legs, and looked about for more enemies to kill. 

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