May 1194. Finally released from captivity, Richard the Lionheart is in Normandy engaged in a bloody war to drive the French out of his continental patrimony. Using the brutal tactics of medieval warfare – siege, savagery and scorched earth – the Lionheart is gradually pushing back the forces of King Philip of France. By his side in this epic struggle are Robert, Earl of Locksley, better known as the erstwhile outlaw Robin Hood, and Sir Alan Dale, his loyal friend, and a musician and warrior of great skill and renown. But while the battles rage and the bodies pile up, Robin seems only to be interested in making a profit from the devastation of war, while Alan is preoccupied with discovering the identity the man who ordered his father’s death ten years earlier – and the mystery is leading him towards to Paris, deep in the heart of the enemy’s territory …
When i first started this series it was with a touch of eagerness, and a fair bit of trepidation. Robin Hood has always been a personal favourite of mine (i do share the name after all). I have read quite a few failed attempts at writing this great character, and seen some blooming awful films.
By the end of that 1st book i was amazed by the astounding piece of work that Angus had produced, so new and so fresh and so real. The wait for books 2 (Holy Warrior) and 3 Kings Man was eternal for some one who loves Historical fiction, and I’m sure he didn’t mind the hundreds of reminders to get the heck on with it.
So how did book 4 Warlord match up to its predecessors?
Its better, every book has got better than the last, yet this one takes a large leap froward in excellence. The writing and the plot as ever is realistic, dark, violent, dirty, visceral so many words. Its like opening a portal on the past and a more realistic past that the fanciful and simple rob the rich to feed the poor.
As usual Sir Alan Dale is the true star of the show, for any book you need to be able to relate to some degree with a character and Robin is just too much of a git to truly do that. A charismatic git a dramatic git a medieval Don Corleone of a loveable git. But Alan is the true multi-dimensional character the one you can see yourself in.
Earlier this year i said Christian Cameron’s God of War would be my book of the year for 2012. This book damn near proved me wrong. I do now have 2 books of the year, because i really cannot separate them. The Outlaw Chronicles is fast becoming one of my all time favourite series.
VERY Highly recommended.
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