Warlord: A novel of Robin Hood
Warlord opens with Prince John groveling before his elder brother, King Richard. The king’s men, including Robin Hood and the hero and narrator of the book, Alan Dale, are all in attendance. This council of war sets the stage for what proves to be a rampaging charge across France for the next several years as Richard fights to reclaim his lands from the French king. Alan is sent off on his own missions, with his own men-at-arms, and comes to know the joy of independent command, of being a warlord.
But Alan has more than simply his king’s command to attend to. He is driven to unearth the secret of his father’s death. This investigation leads him ever deeper into murder, intrigue, and betrayal, from the heart of a deadly siege to the streets of Paris and beyond. He gets answers, but each one seems to lead to new questions, and further into darkness and possible wonder.
This is Donald’s fourth installment of his Outlaw Chronicles, each one told by Alan as he remembers his exploits with his master, Robin Hood. I have enjoyed each book, and this one is possibly the best of them so far. The relationships are moving and complicated, as always, and the characters have depth. Each novel has its own feel, and this one could almost have been placed in the Hundred Years’ War, with English archers and men-at-arms at large across the French countryside. That makes for an excellent backdrop for the murder mystery(ies) as they unfold one step ahead of young Alan. I’ll definitely be reading book five. Recommended.