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Outlaw (The Outlaw Chronicles, #1)
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Outlaw (The Outlaw Chronicles #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,642 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews

When he's caught stealing, young Alan Dale is forced to leave his family and go to live with a notorious band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest.

Their leader is the infamous Robin Hood. A tough, bloodthirsty warrior, Robin is more feared than any man in the country. And he becomes a mentor for Alan; with his fellow outlaws, Robin teaches Ala
Paperback, 365 pages
Published July 15th 2009 by Sphere (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 07, 2012 Duckie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hoodwinkers
This is not the worst Robin Hood novel I've ever read (that would be Scarlet), but it is the worst by someone who was a professional author (journalist) before writing a novel. The text is unintentionally hilarious, the characters have the emotional depth of tissue paper, and like a piss-drunk Robin Hood at a county archery contest, Donald manages to miss the target entirely.

Donald showers his text liberally with ill-executed references to masculinity, such as: "We were on the road again at dawn
Aug 24, 2009 Sam rated it it was amazing
Picked this up on a whim and how glad am I that I did. Although the Robin Hood story has been told on countless occasions and in many ways, this is one of the more original versions to date. Donald has managed to create a Robin that is believable and balances the hero character that we all know and love with the more realistic criminal/outlaw that he would've been.

The story is told through the eyes of Alan Dale, who ends up joining Robin's crew as a result of a single criminal act born from hung
Nov 29, 2009 Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, norman
I'm a big fan of Bernard Cornwell (to say the least) and knowing that the author of this was inspired by Bernard to write his own historical fiction...well, I had to check it out.

I'm delighted that I did. OUTLAW is the beginning of a new series chronicling the adventures of Robin Hood, and it's a thrilling one. Well researched, well written and well told, this is just the sort of historical adventure I love to read: packed with action and intrigue and a memorable level of grittiness, too, this u
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 03, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
This is a sort of...."hummm, interesting"....take on the Robin Hood legend. The author takes some time "afterward" to discuss this and why he writes what he writes.

This is a good book. It's a somewhat new angle to take on the legendary character. he's more bitter in some ways definitely a disillusioned hero. We get the childhood trauma card played here and the author wanted very badly to include a pagan take on the religion in the book.

Here we are told the story by Alan Dale (Alan-a-Dale) as he
Mar 30, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dave Duncan fans, Robin Hood fans, military strategy historical fiction fans

Nearly a four, really!

Good enough that I'm going to read Holy Warrior, the next one in the series, as an e-book - just so I don't have to wait a whole day or two to follow Robin Hood and Alan-A-Dale on the crusades.

Why is it nearly a four? . . . people defecate. They urinate. They get sick. These three are a must for me in historical fiction -there's a reason "Where do you go to the bathroom?" is the question astronauts get the most. If you want to see the astronauts' solution watch this nation
Steve Justice
Mar 08, 2014 Steve Justice rated it did not like it
Outlaw describes itself as a "gripping, action-packed historical thriller that delves deep into the fascinating legend of Robin Hood". Outlaw is none of these things and somehow succeeds in turning the "fascinating legend" of Robin Hood into a worse-than-average piece of confusing half-ideas and shallow characters.

Firstly the main description of the novel is totally misleading - "historical thriller" - Outlaw is not historical as there is still no proof of Robin Hood's existence, and it is not
Feb 16, 2012 Julia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Julia by: a friend
A friend gave this to me to read, so I gave it a go. Truthfully, I wasn't impressed. The book had very little new to offer, either to the Robin Hood mythology or in literary terms. Reimagining Robin Hood as a Godfather-like figure could have been interesting, but that potential was never realized. The author's writing was, at best, basic, and there were times that he had me laughing with disbelief at his choice of descriptors. For instance, Donald has the main character have a dream rife with ob ...more
Ben Kane
Mar 21, 2012 Ben Kane rated it it was amazing
This was been on my radar for a long time - pretty much since I saw the iconic cover when it came out actually. Anyway, I finally got around to buying a year or os ago. Started it a few months later, and devoured it. I've since read the next two books as well.

The main hero and narrator is Alan Dale, a young thief who's taken in by Robert Odo, the outlaw chief. I liked this approach, because all too often, books are written from the historical or main hero's point of view, and that can be a littl
Apr 12, 2012 Speesh rated it really liked it
Shelves: medieval-england
'Outlaw', is an enjoyable, even memorable, re-imagining and re-exploration if you will, of the Robin Hood legend. All our favourite fiends, friends and enemies are here - 'Maid Marion', Friar Tuck, 'Little' John, the Sherrif of Nottingham, and Guy of Gisborne - there's action and adventure a-plenty and it all takes place in and around Sherwood Forest.

But forget what you thought you knew of Robin Hood. There's no swinging happily through Sherwood Forest's lush, leafy glades, no slapping thighs wh
Apr 25, 2011 Debbie rated it it was amazing
It’s long been debated whether Robin Hood actually existed, in a 14th Century poem he makes an appearance and in the 15th Century he’s been mentioned in ballads but whether he’s fact or fiction doesn’t seem to lessen his popularity as he’s been immortalized in print, song, poem and in present times on film. One of the reasons he stays alive for us is because of the astute storytelling ability of some of his tale-tellers like for example this one.

In this fictionalized tale of Robin Hood we may fi
Sep 18, 2012 Terri rated it it was ok
This book may be a lot of people's cup of tea, but it was not mine. I quite enjoyed the start, up until approx page 60. It went down from there for me though.
I think there was some irreparable damage done for me with an early feast scene which included description that seemed more about the author living out fantasy than about importance to story. I was still okay with the book though and carried on despite my misgivings. This was the authors first book, so I expected some ups and downs. But th
S.J.A. Turney
May 01, 2012 S.J.A. Turney rated it it was amazing
am long overdue in reviewing this book, spurred on by the arrival in the post today of the third in the series (King's Man).

I generally avoid anything connected with Robin Hood in order to avoid inevitable disappointment. I have the same problem with King Arthur. Every time I read a book or watch a movie about Arthur I am thoroughly disappointed, often bored, and usually aggravated by the clear problems with any hint of accuracy. Ditto: Robin Hood. I tolerate the Errol Flynn and Disney animated
Oct 15, 2009 William rated it it was ok
A friend of mine was looking through my book shelf and pulled this one out asking if it was any good. All I could say was "Meh". The following week they handed the book back and before I could ask they uttered "Meh"

It’s not a bad book and it’s not a great book, it is in all definitions of the word "Meh"

I liked the whole idea of a Mafia style Robin Hood and his not so merry men and it was definitely interesting reading the spin off versions of a lot of the classic characters.

But the book never
I enjoyed reading this. I could poke half a dozen holes in it, and there's a number of good reviews that do -- this one is a pretty good summary of all the things that are wrong with it. Yeah, there's a ridiculous number of references to masculinity, to the point where it all doth protest too much, and the "nameless masculine fear" stuff made me snort my apple juice. Woo~ooo~ooo, scary pagan women, horrible bloody human-sacrificing Celtic rituals, etc.

Still, it's a pageturner, and this version i
Sep 10, 2013 Lanie rated it it was amazing
I've been reading Holy Warrior, the next book in this wonderful historical fiction series "The Outlaw Chronicles" or "The novels of Robin Hood" and I thought I would rewrite my review of "Outlaw". I wrote my first one a long time ago, and hopefully this one new one is written a little better. Going back, my first seemed sort of childish.

So, moving onward! "Outlaw" is one of the many fictional Robin Hood novels I have painstakingly acquired since my obsession began in 10th grade. (It started when
Mark Halse
Jan 18, 2017 Mark Halse rated it really liked it
I'm still waiting for that knock-my-socks-off Robin Hood series that makes me tingle in my nether regions. This ain't it but it isn't a bad historical fiction novel either.

In the time honored Cornwellian tradition, OUTLAW tells the story of a "historical" figure through the eyes of a sidekick. In this case it's ol' Alan-a-Dale. Though Alan never struck a chord with me as an outstanding Merry Man before this Donald does an excellent job of making me care about and be interested in him. His journe
Jan 05, 2012 James rated it it was ok
The cover proudly proclaimed that it was as good as Bernard Cornwell, or your money back. Luckily for them, this was a library book. But, while it isn't as good as Cornwell's works, it did seem reminiscent of him. In fact, you could even call this a poor man's cornwell - distinctly similar, but so obviously not of the same class. Yet. But for all that, it's still entertaining, and despite my low rating I urge you to read it; 2.5 Stars

Plot: Three Stars

This was where the similarities were stri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hodkinson
Aug 12, 2012 Tim Hodkinson rated it really liked it
I have to admit I have avoided reading this book for a long time through a misguided combination of jealousy and the desire to avoid disappointment. The jealousy spring from my own desire to write a novel that portrayed Robin Hood in a realistic light that was true to the spirit of the original medieval ballads about him. In those works Robin is about as far from Kevin Costner’s version of the character as you can get. There is plenty of robbing-not necessarily just from the rich-and very little ...more
May 03, 2013 Patremagne rated it really liked it

Alan Dale is the lowest of the low - essentially a street rat, forced to steal to make a living. Robin Hood, "holding court" in Alan's town of Nottingham. Alan's mother convinces Robin to take Alan under his wing, and so begins the story of Outlaw.

Many of Robin's Merry Men are present - Little John, Much, Will Scarlet, Tuck, and of course the man himself. In Outlaw, Robin is no man-in-tights do-gooder, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. He's a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 22, 2012 Stuart rated it liked it
Angus Donald's historical take on Robin Hood is an interesting example of work by a great storyteller who is yet to be a great writer. Donald, who has clearly researched both the various Robin Hood legends and the historical time period he chooses to set his novel (he chooses the reign of Henry II, so a bit earlier than most versions of the legends, which place the bulk of the action in Richard I's reign), has a good grasp of characters and plot, but his language is often lacking nuance and subt ...more
Il libro:
Iniziare una nuova serie è sempre un salto nel buio, ma sono contenta di aver saltato.
Outlaw è il primo romanzo di una serie con protagonista Robin Hood, narrata dal menestrello Allan-a-Dale, qui chiamato prosaicamente Alan Dale, che racconta gli inizi della vita da fuorilegge e lo scontro con lo sceriffo di Nottingham. Pur trattando di una leggenda, e non di un avvenimento storico, siamo di fronte a un buon esempio di historical fiction, tra battaglie e tradimenti, archi lunghi e sirve
Aug 26, 2015 May rated it really liked it
A good friend recommended this book to me, since I am also a huge fan of Sharon Kay Penman's and Bernard Cornwell's books. I won't admit this to my friend, but he was spot on with his recommendation. :) "Outlaw" is the story of Robin Hood told from the viewpoint of Alan a Dale. The story is told very much in the Cornwell style--gritty, violent, and occasionally very gory. But Angus Donald's writing is more well-rounded than Cornwell's. The characters are better fleshed out, and the pacing is eve ...more
Mr. Matt
Mar 19, 2013 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it
Outlaw is a gritty retelling of the Robin Hood story. Personally I've been very mixed on the whole Robin Hood thing. Too many bad movie versions, I think, caused me to grow wary of tackling it. The good news is that I was very pleasantly surprised.

The author took me back to medieval England into a living, breathing world. I never once felt that the author was taking liberties. The people's beliefs and attitudes felt consistent with the period. The only part of the book that bothered me at all wa
Sean Kennedy
Jun 30, 2015 Sean Kennedy rated it liked it
What's the point of writing a Robin Hood novel that the character is barely in, and when he is, we know nothing about him except he is sometimes mean, sometimes nice, and loves a lady? This book really should have been called "Alan Dale: Let Me Tell You How My Penis Feels Right at This Moment (Hint: It's Stiff!)".
Jun 07, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
Solid 4 stars. Really had a sense of the times and carnage. Thought the Brigit character to be very cool...and one with Mother Earth. Liked that twist of paganism amongst the priests. And Robin's trying to keep a foot in both the land of the Christ followers as well as with the people of the woods.
Jason Golomb
Mar 30, 2011 Jason Golomb rated it liked it
Angus Donald's historical fiction "Outlaw" is an exciting middle-age tale set in the forests of England. Knights in gleaming armor battle on horseback, while beautiful ladies await the return of their loves in a countryside of castles and manors.

At the center of the story sits the legendary Robin Hood. But Donald's Hood is not the singing cartoon Hood of Disney, nor the 90's Robin of Kevin Costner. This Robin Hood has gone hardcore and there's more than a little bit of Godfather in him. Oh, he

"From bloody battles and riotous feat days to marauding packs of wolves, OUTLAW is a gripping, action-packed historical thriller that delves deep into the fascinating legend of Robin Hood."

It sounds good doesn't it? that's what I thought when I saw it in the shop and the sticker that says "as good as Bernard Cornwall or your money back" makes it sound even better! I'm a huge fan of Bernard Cornwall so i expected a lot from this book but sadly it did not del
Sep 11, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it
A 'Realistic' historical style novel rather than a 'men in tights' type jolly swashbuckle.

Full of hardship and the dirt and grit of life, this is a brilliant telling of the Origins of Robin and his band of 'Outlaws'

Told from the recollections of Alan 'A Dale it shows Robin to be a brave and charismatic man who, because of his position and while trying to safeguard his friends and other outcasts, often needs to be brutal and unflinchingly strong.

This is a great tale and for all it's hardship and
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Other Books in the Series

The Outlaw Chronicles (8 books)
  • Holy Warrior (The Outlaw Chronicles, #2)
  • King's Man (The Outlaw Chronicles, #3)
  • Warlord  (The Outlaw Chronicles, #4)
  • Grail Knight (The Outlaw Chronicles #5)
  • The Iron Castle (Outlaw Chronicles, #6)
  • The King's Assassin (The Outlaw Chronicles, #7)
  • The Death of Robin Hood (The Outlaw Chronicles, #8)

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