Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Holy Warrior: A Novel of Robin Hood-Angus Donald

Holy Warrior: A Novel of Robin Hood
Angus Donald
St. Martin’s Griffin, Aug 2 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312678371

In 1190 newly crowned King Richard II of England announces plans to liberate Jerusalem from the Saracens. Amongst those marching in the Third Crusades is the most feared warrior in the land, the Outlaw of Nottingham, the Earl of Locksley. Robin Hood’s loyal men are on the trek too as the Templars gave him and them little choice in the matter.

The trek is dangerous without having an assassin try killing you. Robin and his personal troubadour teen age Alan Dale try to uncover the identity of the stalker but so far fail. At the same tome Robin shows no mercy as he and his band of mercenary murderers kill anyone in their path. However, the real test will be in combat with Saladin and his Saracen horde.

The second tale of Angus Donald’s rendition of Robin Hood (see Outlaw) continues to portray the epic heroic Holy Warrior in a negative light (that is looking back from twenty-first century sensitivities even with recent holocausts). Robin is abusive and mean spirited while he leads a merry band of raping, murdering marauders. They fit their times as teenage Alan Dale relates what they have seen and done during the Crusades to include ethnic cleansing of Jews in England, the slaughter of Muslim prisoners of war at Acre, and the massacre of other ethnic groups. This all occurs even before the bloody battle against Saladin and enhanced by deadly disease. Dark, gory and bloody but grimly realistic as medieval life especially on the front means take no prisoners except in the case of rape.

Harriet Klausner

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