The Robin Hood myth has always held a special place in my heart (in part because I’m a poor author and hope that someday someone will redistribute the wealth of the rich to me, and in part because I have a thing for men in tights), and given the recent spate of folkloric/fairytale retellings, I thought I’d see just how many Robin Hood retellings were out there. The answer? Quite a few. I’ve rounded up some of the most likely contenders, but if you have any you’d like to add, feel free to let me know in the comments below. All blurbs taken from Amazon/Book Depository; cover images from Book Depository.
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
The author of The Blue Sword retells the adventures of Robin Hood and his band of outlaws who live in Sherwood Forest in twelfth-century England.
Maid Marian by Elsa Watson
An orphan and heiress to a large country estate, Marian Fitzwater is wed at the age of five to an equally young nobleman, Lord Hugh of Sencaster, a union that joins her inheritance to his. But when she is seventeen, Lord Hugh, whom she hasn’t seen in years, dies under mysterious circumstances. Marian is left alone again—a widow who has never been a bride. But now, like all unmarried young ladies of fortune, she is made the ward of King Richard the Lionheart. Since Richard is away on Crusade, Marian’s fate lies in the hands of his mother, the formidable Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. The bridegroom Eleanor selects will get Marian’s lands and, in return, pledge his loyalty—and silver—to the king. Marian herself is irrelevant and she knows it. Determined not to be sold into another sham marriage, she seeks out the one man who can help uncover the queen’s intentions: Robin Hood, the notorious Saxon outlaw of Sherwood Forest. Marian is surprised to discover that the famed “prince of thieves” is not only helpful but handsome, likeable, and sympathetic to her plight. Robin’s men intercept a letter from Queen Eleanor, from which Marian learns, to her horror, that she is to marry her late husband’s brother. His family has a history of mysterious deaths, and Marian knows she is in danger. Once married, she can be easily disposed of—a fate she may have escaped once already. On the eve of her wedding, Robin Hood spirits Marian back to the forest. The Queen believes her to be dead, and Marian begins a new life with Robin Hood’s outlaws, who pledge to help her regain her fortune and expose the treachery of her enemies.
The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson
Mary, 15 years old and an orphan, must flee into Sherwood Forest to avoid an arranged marriage. There her life truly begins, for she finds a community of heroic outlaws that includes a woman with seemingly magical healing powers and a young man who is bravely leading the fight against tyranny. This man is Robin Hood, and Mary will soon be known as Maid Marian, the green lady of the woods.
Hood by Stephen R Lawhead
Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne Elfael, has abandoned his father’s kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him–for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.
Sherwood by Parke Godwin
Forced from his home by Norman invaders, young Edward Aelredson, Thane of Denby, takes refuge in the forest Sherwood, where, with sword and bow, he bedevils the usurping king and comes to be called Robin Hood.
Robin Hood by Paul Creswick
Recounts the life and adventures of Robin Hood, who, with his band of followers, lived as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest dedicated to fight against tyranny.
The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger
The Robin Hood legend is turned on end in this lively and daring “corrective tale” of the oft-maligned Sheriff of Nottingham. Myth is overturned with this historically-based account of the poor, French-born Philip Mark. Appointed to the post of Sheriff, he is portrayed as a man of honesty and fair-mindedness–traits the corrupt Nottingham had never seen.
No one has ever bested Geoffrey, the Sheriff of Nottingham–until the day a new villain appears in the forest. Cunning, treacherous, and, against all expectations, a man to respect, his name is Robin Hood. Their deadly game of cat and mouse begins–and the Sheriff’s life will never be the same.
Outlaw by Tony Lee
How did Robin of Loxley become Robin Hood? Why did he choose to fight injustice instead of robbing for his own gain? Expressive and gritty, this graphic novel whisks readers back to Crusades-era England, where the Sheriff of Nottingham rules with an iron fist, and in the haunted heart of Sherwood Forest, a defiant rogue — with the help of his men and the lovely Maid Marian — disguises himself to become an outlaw.
For younger readers:
Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky
Before she was Maid Marian, she was Matty. . . .Matty has been raised to dance well, embroider exquisitely, and marry nobly. But when Matty’s mother is murdered before her very eyes and her father, a nobleman, is reduced to poverty, Matty’s life changes. As the daughter of Nottingham’s most famous falconer, she finds a new destiny in the hawks her father keeps. She begins to understand their thoughts and even speak their language. The beautiful merlin Marigold becomes Matty’s closest winged companion and her fiercest ally. It is a treacherous time in England. The sheriff of Nottingham is rising to power, and a true king has been kidnapped. Determined to fight, Matty’s friend Fynn becomes Robin Hood. As Maid Marian, Matty joins Fynn and his Merry Men, famously robbing from the rich to give to the poor.
Scarlet by AC Gaughen
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
Sherwood by Jane Yolen (ed)
Welcome to Sherwood Forest, where legends loom large among the ancient trees, and stories of Robin Hood and his band of merry men abound. The renowned hero of the people is alive in the heart of the forest and in the minds of eight of today’s most respected fantasy authors who weave enchanting new stories about Robin Hood, past and present. These tales promise to charm and delight Robin Hood fans young and old.
Rowan Hood by Nancy Springer
When her mother is murdered and she is left alone, Rowan sets off to Sherwood Forest to find her father, Robin Hood, and soon, with the help of Lionel and Ettarde the runaway princess, they are able to locate him just in time to help him out of a dangerous situation.
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
Robin Hood, champion of the poor and opponent of the Sheriff of Nottingham, takes refuge in the Sherwood Forest and outwits his enemies with daring and panache.
The Sherwood Game by Esther Friesner
Carl Sherwood, a computer whiz who lives in a dream world to escape his geekiness, becomes more and more wrapped up in the new Virtual Reality program that he is designing, until the Reality starts becoming more than Virtual.
Robin’s Country by Monica Furlong
A re-telling of the Robin Hood legend through the eyes of a boy, Richard Walter, who is nine and apprenticed to a farmer and his wife who, along with their son Roger, treat him brutally. He is struck dumb from past trauma. Richard runs away to Sherwood Forest and stumbles on the outlaws.