Rebellion of Thieves. Robyn Hoodlum Book 2 by Kekla Magoon. Bloomsbury, 2016.
The adventures of Robyn Hoodlum, a Robin Hood for a dystopian future which began in Shadows of Sherwood continue! Robyn’s done a great job of spreading awareness of her activities both among the Sheriff’s people that she’s trying to annoy and the poor people she’s been working to help. She and her band are still searching for the last person representing one of the six mystical elements that are part of the traditional Moon Lore to join their band when news is released of an opportunity: the annual Iron Teen competition will still be going on, and Robyn hopes that entering will not only be a way to thumb her nose at the Sheriff but also to give her a way to enter the Castle district. That’s where she believes her mother is being held, along with other ousted former government representatives. The stakes are high – will Robyn’s competitiveness put her and her mission at risk?
There is a lot going on here, in a good way. Many of the events and people are echoes of events in the old Robin Hood stories – the Iron Teen competition with the Sheriff’s archery contest, both traps. But Robyn is a much more rounded character, dealing with both with doubts about her role as the leader of the Crescent Rebellion at the same time as she must learn to trust her team and that there is much more to the Rebellion than her own leadership. The spiritual/magical element of the Moon Lore nudges the story away from straight dystopia towards fantasy – I really enjoyed this aspect, as well as the conflicts that Robyn has between her beliefs and the concrete fact that her long hair with its ritual braid is a liability for someone trying to stay under cover. I’ve talked mostly about Robyn here, but I really enjoyed the other members of her team as well – There was enough character development to keep me invested in the story, worked in between important plot revelations and lots of action.
The Robyn Hoodlum series is another vastly underrated series (it made my top 10 under-rated books list from last year. Side note: under-rated or underrated?). With a diverse cast of smart and likeable characters, lots of action, and a world that’s highly relevant to today’s political climate, this is one more people need to be reading.