I had some problems at the beginning that colored my enjoyment of the rest of it. McKinley never does tell us how old Robin and his friends are. At the very beginning I thought they must be twelve or so, but it turns out they're full grown, late teens or early twenties. Of course their actual ages don't really matter, but it gave me trouble figuring things out. My other big problem was that the outlaws were political symbols from the first, which seems really odd, both too canny and too sudden, because we haven't been given a sense of political unrest before then.Anyway, there's lots of good stuff. I liked the pragmatism of Robin, an indifferent archer primarily concerned with the logistics of living in the forest, feeding people, digging privy trenches. That was a delightful change. I liked the way McKinley made the legends into real people with motivations and concerns appropriate to their time. But then again, there were a few too many young Saxon ladies engaged to icky older Norman men against their desire. For some reason that was the only time the whole Saxon/Norman thing came up. And the names! Sure, you have to work with what tradition gives you, but turning "John Little" into "Little John" for his outlaw name isn't even trying. I did like that there was a constant stream of people into Sherwood, and that Robin devoted time and energy to sending most of them on their way, an early-model social worker. The archery contest scene worked well for me, as did the final resolution. The fighting and the aftermath were very well written and moving. So, a mixed bag. I can't see this becoming my favorite McKinley, but it didn't put me off so much I couldn't finish.Library copy.