Will in Scarlet - Matthew Cody I really enjoy books about famous fictional heroes that aren't actually about the famous fictional heroes.

Will in Scarlet is a Robin Hood story told first and foremost through the eyes of the young lord, William Shackley. Later, the voice of Much, the miller's daughter turned son, is added. Their stories and the paths that lead them to the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest shape the lore around the infamous Robin Hood. But while we get a glimpse into the wanted bandit, it's Will and Much who the reader gets to know and care about, though we do get to see Robin Hood through their eyes. Turns out, the leader of the Merry Men isn't quite what we expect him to be.

It only took me a few pages to really like this story and the characters. I've never really Will Scarlet in a particularly positive light in the various mediums I've previously met him in, but this one sets out to give him heart and soul and easily achieves it. Robin might lead the Merry Men, but Will is the one who gives them their purpose and helps to define the vast division between nobility and the regular folk without being preachy or petulant.

I also liked how the Sheriff of Nottingham, while not necessarily a likable character overall, is one that I could sympathize with to some extent. His actions are given greater reasoning than him simply being a greedy and evil jerk.

This was a fun read, with well thought out characters, lots of interesting action and a fair bit of humour.

Cross-posted to
The BiblioSanctum