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Outlaw (Outlaw Chronicles) Paperback – 23 Jul 2009


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Outlaw (Outlaw Chronicles) + Holy Warrior (Outlaw Chronicles) + King's Man (Outlaw Chronicles)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (23 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751542083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751542080
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Angus Donald was born in 1965 and educated at Marlborough College and Edinburgh University. He has worked as a fruit-picker in Greece, a waiter in New York and as an anthropologist studying magic and witchcraft in Indonesia. For the past 15 years, he has been a journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London. He is married to Mary, with whom he has a baby daughter, and he now writes full time from home in Tonbridge, Kent.

Product Description

Review

A lively and enjoyable book (Daily Mail)

A tale well told via the thoughts of a flawed hero...not a read for the squeamish (Nottinghamshire Today)

Book Description

An historical epic in the vein of Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By R. Griffin on 5 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I happened to pick up Outlaw by chance and I'm thoroughly grateful that I did. There are very few people in Britain that don't know the Robin Hood legend, and it seems everyone wants to tackle it lately with books cropping up all over the place and a new film on it's way. So, I wasn't sure what to expect from Outlaw - perhaps a jolly jaunt through the traditional myth.

What Angus Donald has actually done with his first book, is write a story which at it's heart is a coming of age tale. The reader follows the story of Alan, a young boy just beginning to approach manhood, who lives day to day on what he can snatch with his own two hands. It only takes one ill-fated instant for his entire life to take an entirely different turn, and Alan finds himself under the protection of Robin, the outlaw lord of Sherwood. As the story develops the reader is confronted with the same conflicting notions of Robin as Alan, a boy who is both in awe of a man who has already become a folk hero and horror at the violent brutality of a man who will shy at nothing to achieve his goal.

Donald handles the Hood myth with care, introducing all of the traditional characters respectfully but in a historically believable way. He conveys the hardships of life at the time, the political turmoil and the rarefied notions of nobility despite the day to day squalor of life.

All in all, an exciting and enjoyable read. Full of vicious battles, poignant moments and a well written historical setting. It's a good début and I think both the writing and the story will improve from here. I look forward to the next instalment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
I found this thanks to an Amazon recommendation (when looking for something completely different!)

I have now read the first four in this series (Outlaw, Holy Warrior, King's Man and Warlord) with delight.
The author takes a realistic view of the life and times of one of England's more colourful legends, and imbues his stories with well written descriptions of the places that our hero visits.
There is a splendid sequence in one of the books, where the narrator (Alan Dale) is going down the Thames in a little boat and describes the various "little villages and open fields" around places like Battersea... great insights!

Plenty of historical events to hang the stories on - whether the Crusades, or the struggle between King Richard and his "dastardly" brother John (... segue into A A Milne... "King John was not a good man, he had his little ways, and sometimes no-one spoke to him, for days and days and days", sorry - don't know where that came from (!)).

This Robin is a little bit of a super-hero, always managing to escape from certain death, and having a "Hustle" [TV] style way of always having a cunning plan, which is never outlined before it happens... which adds to the fun of the stories - how WILL he manage to escape this time!

If you have enjoyed Bernard Cornwell's Authurian series then this is for you
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 July 2009
Format: Paperback
With Robin Hood currently being back in vogue with many authors tackling the famous outlaw, few seek to strike out on their own as well as Angus Donald as he tells the tale from Alan Dales old age as he looks back on his past as a cutpurse and soon to be outlaw. The tale is not only well written but told with a freshness that has a sense of history injected as the tale clearly shows. You can't help but be drawn into this world through the characters eyes as the brutality of the age meets the cunning of well matched chess opponents. Add to the mix a realistic sense of adventure and the promise of more to come and its definitely a book that could be used to help the Young Adult in your home cross to the world of Historical Fiction in one easy step. I'll look forward to Angus' next novel Crusader currently scheduled for a 2010 release date.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Spawton on 18 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On the cover of my copy of Outlaw, there was a sticker saying 'As good as Bernard Cornwell or your money back'. Cornwell is, of course, a master of the historical novel genre with few equals (Conn Iggulden, Justin Hill, Steven Pressfield are the only ones that spring to mind) so this, I thought, was fightin' talk from the publishers. But the publishers were right to be confident; Outlaw is a brilliant novel. Angus Donald's Robin is a charismatic character but he is a tough, almost brutal man and is not always sympathetically portrayed by the narrator (one of Robin's men who is looking back on life with Robin from the perspective of old age.) This gives the book a welcome edge, with Donald plunging the reader headlong into the dangerous days of medieval England. Everything I want in a historical novel is here: strong characters, a believable setting, good story-telling, vivid action scenes and, most importantly, high quality prose. After finishing Outlaw, I bought the second in the series and the good news is that it was even stronger than the first. This is a series of books to cherish and Angus Donald a writer to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As many other reviewers have mentioned, one of the main originalities of this book is the way that Angus Donald has chosen to portray Robin Hood: ruthless, cruel at times, unscrupulous and even callous, but also absolutely loyal to his liege lord and to his men, and expecting the same from them. This take is, of course, rather original, and tends to make the character of Robin very plausible, much more so than the traditional paragon of virtue and chivalry that is associated with him in so many other stories about him.

Most reviewers, and in fact the subtitle of the book ("Meet the Godfather of Sherwood Forest") have insisted in his outlaw and robber side. However, the parallel with Marlon Brando or All Pacino's incarnations of the Godfather has its limits. This is largely because, unlike these modern criminals, Robin of Locksley was also fighting what was a kind of civil war against the supporters of John which is superbly illustrated by the battle of Linden Lea (towards the end of the book, of course, because this is the book's climax).

It is also because he was "outlawed", a Germanic legal concept that existed in Anglo-Saxon England, in the Danelaw (where the outlaw was called a "nithing" if I remember correctly) and in Normandy after 911. An outlaw in Anglo-Norman England was, quite literally, "out of the law", meaning that he had not protection to expect from the law, could be killed by anyone without any fear of punishment and anyone who helped him would be punished for it. In the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England, being outlawed implied confiscation of a lord's lands, who was therefore left destitute, and exile, if this lord or knight wanted to save his life.
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