Will in Scarlet

Will in Scarlet
Matthew Cody
Random House Children’s Books

Will in Scarlet is a telling of the beginning of the story of Robin Hood. Young Will is the heir to his father’s earldom. His biggest concern is avoiding punishment for stealing sweets from the cooks. That is until Sir Guy, the Horse Knight comes to Shackley to feel out Will’s uncle Geoffrey’s loyalties. Will is plunged into very adult politics and barely escapes with his life. He is captured by bandits in Sherwood Forest.

He keeps his identity secret and plays a dangerous game to seek revenge. More than one secret will be revealed and Will’s life will never be the same.

I wasn’t sure about this book. I’ve read too many mediocre interpretations of Sherwood Forest. I am very glad I picked this one up. Telling the story from the viewpoint of the young Will and setting the story before the events of most Robin Hood tales make this a fresh and interesting read. Matthew Cody brings his own spin to the well known characters, but also makes them recognizable.

This is a very well written young adult book about a well known tale. For those who haven’t encountered Robin Hood in print before, this is a great introduction. It is also an antidote to some of the more saccharine tellings of the legend that leave out the brutality and poverty of the period.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a rousing story.

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