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Publishers WeeklyFollowing Outlaw, this second volume in Donald's unconventional Robin Hood series continues the bloody legend of a folk hero portrayed as the merciless, sadistic leader of murderous forest brigands in an England of 1190 that is anything but jolly. Fifteen-year-old Alan Dale, Robin's personal musician and spy, tells this gritty tale of treachery and medieval warfare. Coerced by Templar Knights, Robin reluctantly agrees to lead a force of mercenaries to the Holy Land as part of King Richard's Third Crusade quest to recapture Jerusalem. Robin, however, is driven not by faith, but by personal, sinister motives, and his methods shock even the loyal Alan. The journey is perilous and rife with betrayals, as an assassin makes repeated attempts to slay Robin and Alan tries desperately to identify the would-be killer. Robin and Alan witness the massacre of Jews at York, the execution of Muslim prisoners at Acre, and participate in the slaughter of Sicilians and Cypriots before finally meeting Saladin and his Saracen army in battle. Donald offers vividly gruesome medieval history, complete with intrigue, royal discord, torture, rape, disease, wholesale slaughter, and the brutal savagery of 13th-century warfare, where no quarter is expected and none is given. This is grim entertainment, indeed.
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