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Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

(see also our list of Rapunzel retellings)

The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Maid Marian by Elsa Watson Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Hood by Stephen R Lawhead Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Sherwood by Parke Godwin Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Robin Hood by Paul Creswick Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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In a Dark Wood by Michael Cadnum Book list: Robin Hood retellings

In a Dark Wood by Michael Cadnum

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.

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Outlaw by Tony Lee Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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:

9780060000714 Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Scarlet by AC Gaughen2 Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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9780698119536 Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Rowan Hood by Nancy Springer Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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The Sherwood Game by Esther Friesner Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

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Robins Country by Monica Furlong Book list: Robin Hood retellings

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.

9 comments

  1. I really enjoyed The Outlaws of Sherwood Forest and Scarlet, but I’ll have to give the rest a shot as well! I love the whole mythology behind the Robin Hood legend! Thanks for sharing all of these!

  2. Stephanie /

    Pleasure, Natalie! There are plenty on here that I want to check out as well. :)

  3. I read this with my heart in my mouth …. because my WIP is a twisted retelling of the legend. Obviously I’m not alone in my love for all things Hood-ian. So relieved to see the angle I’m taking wasn’t on your list. Then again, as much as I try to be original, there’s bound to have been someone who’s written it before.

    But still . . . phew! hahahahaha.
    PS – remember the tv series that had Michael Praed in it as Robin? Ooops, showing my age . . .

  4. Stephanie /

    Ooh, looking forward to it, Ebony! :)

    Hmm, I do remember a dodgy series that was shown on the ABC at around 5 or 6pm during the 90s. Would that have been it?

  5. Here’s the opening credits. (Music by Clannad)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8jmZ77-bvw

    Ringing any bells? OMG, I crushed so badly on Michael Praed. He left Sherwood for a role on Dynasty as the prince caught up in The Wedding Massacre of Moldavia. I cried when they gunned him down!!!! Lol. I was only 14, and I think I’ve been broken ever since, hahahahaha.

  6. Is there a list for Arthurian stories? I’d like to read that…

    • Stephanie /

      I’ll add it to my to-do list, Sandy! I did a quick google and found a couple of brief lists, but nothing that looks comprehensive.

  7. Excellent. I’ll look forward to seeing it in my Reader feed… all in good time *smile*. I really struggle to find the time to blog – which I suspect is really bad organisation on my part – so I’m always impressed by those who do and do it well.

    • Stephanie /

      Thanks, Sandy! It’s certainly a time-consuming endeavour, so I know where you’re coming from. :)

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