Everything I know about Robin Hood, I learned from Disney/Roger Miller and Mel Brooks. Incidentally, my crush in Robin Hood: Men In Tights was not dear Cary Elwes (oh, sweet Wesley), but Will Scarlet...O'Hara.
This was an interesting backstory to the Robin Hood tale. To be honest I was surprised at how mature it was...not in a sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll kind of way- but the dialogue was very High English, and Will has to approach things like betrayal, revenge, etc.
This is most definitely a "guy" book. While the language may be a throw-off for more reluctant readers, if you're recommending it throw in the fart jokes and nods to bodily functions. There's a bit of a love story thrown in, but I could argue it's really just a friendship story (and we are free to speculate where that will go).
The first chapter caught me, as it read similarly to the first chapter in Game of Thrones- wolves, winter, fighting. Again, though, much more middle-grade appropriate. There are also some similarities to The Runaway King trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen. Kind of High Fantasy without any magic/mysticism.
It was interesting to see the development of Robin's band of Merry Men, and Robin himself. I loved the description of the camp they stayed at, which also caused me to look up Herne the Hunter. So, I got a double-dose of folklore reading this.
I'd recommend this to any boy (or girl) who likes the tale of Robin Hood: hunting and bows, fighting and swords, and justice versus revenge. Also anyone who liked the series I mentioned above- Game of Thrones, The Runaway King.
Will in Scarlet is published by Random House Children's. Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Release Date: 10.08.2013