"Meet the Godfather of Sherwood Forest.
—Tagline of Outlaw
A Historical Fiction
re-imagining of the Robin Hood
legend by Angus Donald, narrated by Alan A'Dayle, rendered as Alan Dale
So far 4 books have been published
- Outlaw (2009)
- Holy Warrior (2010)
- Kings Man (2011)
- Warlord (2012)
Robin in this version is named Robert Odo and is the youngest son of a Norman baron. He was outlawed after horribly torturing and killing the abusive priest who was his tutor. He forms a base of support not unlike that of a modern Mafia Don. As the series begins he has long established his power base in Sherwood Forest and his influence stretches over Nottingham and the surrounding villages. Despite this, he romances Marie-Anne, Countess of Locksley.
, Alan is a 13-year-old thief who lives near Nottingham in 1188, and is caught by the Sheriff, Ralph Murdac, who was responsible for the hanging of Alan's father, the second son of a minor French knight and a former wandering trouvère (troubadour), falsely accused of thievery himself. When Alan is caught in the act he escapes and is taken by his mother to Robin to seek his protection, to whom he swears an oath of service until death. He is trained in the arts of war by various mentors. He also reveals his talent at music and is trained to be a trouvère like his father. When Marie-Anne is held captive by Murdac, Alan helps Robin rescue her. Alan also fights alongside Robin when Murdac forms an army to destroy him. In the ensuing battle Murdac is narrowly defeated, and he flees to Prince John. Robin negotiates a pardon from King Richard in return for going on Crusade, and marries Marie-Anne, becoming the Earl of Locksley.
In Holy Warrior
Alan follows Robin as part of King Richard's army on the Third Crusade. Robin being Robin, he has an ulterior motive: to get a cut of the Middle East trade. Before leaving England, Robin and Alan make powerful enemies which will hound them in the Holy Land when they try to protect Robin's Jewish merchant contacts from anti-Semitic rioting. Robin is also shadowed by the continuing effect of Murdac's schemes and actions from the last book.
In King's Man
, Alan is dispatched to Germany to find and rescue King Richard who has been taken captive, while Robin helps thwart Prince John's efforts to keep Richard away from England and take power himself, and settles old scores with Murdac.
- Action Girl: Goody (Godifa)
- Action Girlfriend: Goody again
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Robin is entirely self interested, but is fiercely protective of his friends, family and servants.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Murdac, Malbete, Prince John, and YMMV on Robin.
- Badass: Nicholas de Sracs - the Hospitaller. He even manages to take down Little John just using his shield.
- BadassJew: Reuben. Very much so. Throws knives so hard they go an inch into solid wood, and wields a scimitar with devastating skill.
- Badass Preacher: Friar Tuck. Brigid to an extent, since she is a pagan Priestess.
- Big Bad: Murdac, later Prince John.
- Brave Scot: Robert de Brus - Robin's master of horse in Holy Warrior
- The Big Guy: Little John.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Little John.
- The Captain: Alan becomes this.
- Create Your Own Villain: As part of Robin's band, Alan frames a boy for theft which leads to his expulsion. This boy, whose only crime was being a Jerkass, grows up to be Guy of Gisborne.
- The Dreaded: Robin as an Outlaw, and the thought of his vengeance in later books.
- Driven to Villainy: Nur
- Face Heel Turn: Alan in King's Man its temporary, planting Alan as a spy in Prince John's household. Nur in a tragic Driven to Villainy example.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Sir John Peveril. Robin cuts off all his limbs minus his left arm.
- Famed in Story: Robin. Unsurprising, since Alan is the narrator and the one who writes the songs.
- Gentle Giant: John, to an extent. Just don't piss him off.
- Kick the Dog: A literal one, Malbête kills Alan's dog Keelie.
- Also when Malbête shoots Alan and steals the enemy standard off him.
- And when Malbête mutilates Nur. Basically everything Malbete does.
- Little Miss Badass: Goody in Outlaw. At the age of 10/11, out in a bitterly cold winter after having seen her parents killed by Murdac's men and her home burnt down, she dispatches first a cannibalistic mad man and then a Big Badass Wolf with Alan's poniard (a foot long knife/short sword).
- The Mole: Robin's brother Hugh misleads Robin about the size of Murdac's army, nearly causing his defeat.
- Moral Event Horizon: Robin crosses this. Repeatedly.
- The Obi-Wan: Sir Richard at Lea to Alan. As well as Robert de Brus at a later date. Neither survives
- Public Domain Character: Most of them. Alan also takes the role of the probably apocryphal minstrel Blondel.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: At the end of King's Man: "You! Killed! My! Kitten!
- Revenge: Robin does this a lot. Alan's father is hanged on Murdac's orders. Alan captures Murdac and has him hanged.
- Reverse Mole: Alan
- The Rival: Murdac to Robin and Guy of Gisborne to Alan.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Robin against the Peverils.
- Ship Tease: By the beginning of Holy Warrior it is quite obvious that Alan and Goody are going to get together at some point.
- Shout Out:
- Sincerest Form of Flattery: Angus Donald was inspired by Bernard Cornwell, author of action-oriented Historical Fiction like The Warlord Chronicles and the Sharpe series. Outlaw was even sold with the offer "as good as Bernard Cornwell or your money back" (the publisher's idea, not the author's)
- Smug Snake: Murdac, Prince John and Guy of Gisborne.
- Title Drop: Regularly and obviously in the first two books, and with greater emphasis in King's Man, when Alan vows to himself that he will serve Richard for all his life, declaring himself: "A king's man"
- Villain Protagonist: Robin to an extent.