WOLF’S HEAD: a gritty, fast-paced retelling of a world-famous legend.

Posted: February 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Robin Hood is one of the most iconic characters in the history of mankind, and I believe his enduring popularity is due to his nature as a “statement character”, as I like to call him. He stands for something that people can easily identify with. Numerous movies have portrayed him in different ways: the flamboyant Errol Flynn, the anachronistic-sounding Kevin Costner, the atypical Russell Crowe. 2 things have pretty much remained the same about Robin Hood in regard to his legacy as a character in popular culture. He’ s an outlaw fighting against corruption, robbing the rich, and he’s typically associated with King Richard the Lionhearted.

I had the honour of receiving a copy of a novel that places Robin Hood in a different historical period, but maintains his nature as an outlaw. I’m talking about WOLF’S HEAD, by Steven A. McKay.

This book is absolutely awesome. It starts right in the middle of a fight, which should tell its readers a lot about the action-packed scenes it contains, as young Robert(Robin) Hood makes his way through the England of King Edward, in 1321, a time of great political and social unrest, that brings men to the point of becoming outlaws to survive. This book has a smash-mouth style, it’s vivid, cinematic, and comes with all the beloved characters reexamined in a totally new way. The place of Lady Marion is taken here by young Matilda, and the story takes place in Wakefield, Yorkshire, rather than Sherwood, Nottingham. Friar Tuck has a really interesting story, and Will Scarlet is one of the biggest badasses I’ve ever read about in a Robin Hood novel. Mr. McKay has done his best to create a balance between the sense of time and place and an air of freshness. I see this book as being the basis of the next big Robin Hood movie. What I liked about it the most is the fact that for the first time in any version of the story I’ve come across, we are introduced to a very young Robin Hood(only seventeen at the start of the novel). That makes him a very likable hero, someone that’s really easy to root for, as everyone likes young men with a fighting spirit. I loved seeing Robin fight for the things he believed in, and honing his skills as a robber of the rich and helper of the poor. Mr. McKay has created the Robin Hood that we’ve all wanted to be at some point, and that earns his debut novel 10 stars out of 5. Thank you, Mr. McKay. Heckuva job!    

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