I discovered this book in a library in Milan, Italy. After reading the prologue, I fell in love with it, and I received it later for Christmas. The story of the young outlaw was totally captivating. The Adventures of Robin Hood (by Howard Pyle) was humorous, full of dares, and, well, a great read.
You would think that Robin Hood would be constantly hiding from the Sheriff, but no instead, Robin Hood was always very “polite.” In fact, he oftentimes invited the Sheriff to dine, which usually turned out in “handing over the cash.” In itself, that gave me an extremely satisfactory feeling, since the notorious Sheriff was always trying to hunt Robin Hood down. (The prologue explains that Robin was challenged to a duel and forced to shoot one of the King’s deer. The Sheriff was infuriated and almost driven berserk to think such a dangerous outlaw was on the loose, and that he was just out of his reach).
As I said, The Adventures of Robin Hood was slam-packed full of dares (the I’m-gonna-fight-you kind of dares, not the I-dare-you-to-eat-a-live-cockroach kind of dare). The meetings between Robin Hood and several other people were not so friendly, though sometimes extremely funny. Instead, he (excuse me-meaning Robin Hood) would often look at the new person and think, “Hmm…this feisty fellow needs some discipline,” and then fight him. However, ahem, however, these fights are not gruesome! No, they are not. This book is totally fine for queasy readers. Anyways. The fights usually consist of either 1) fighting with staffs, or 2) fighting with staffs. Not to say Robin Hood was better at fighting with staffs than at archery, but for dueling, he fought with staffs, because it’s much easier than trying to shoot an arrow at someone less than 1 meter away, don’t you think?
There’s just one tiny flaw in The Adventures of Robin Hood `that is, for readers who are not particularly at ease with more heavy reading. For example, instead of saying, “‘ Now,’ said Little John, ‘Can someone give me a staff…’”, the book reads, “‘ Now,’ quoth Little John, ‘Is there never a man here that will lend me a good stout staff…’” Basically, the whole book is in old English, so you may want your dictionary handy. However, the fact that the book is in old English makes the book feel really authentic, which it is, unless you have an abridged version, which is totally different. If you can’t read the real book immediately, don’t spoil the story by reading the abridged version! Just wait. That way, when you read the real version you won’t say, “Oh, come on! I already know the plot of this thing! I want to read something else. Hmph.” After which you’ll never touch the book again. Boohoohoo!
After all of that, all I really want you to understand is this:
You should read this book. It is awesome…and authentic.
You can buy the book here.