This is Book I of the King Raven Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead. He has taken the Robin Hood legends and, after some research, set them where he thinks they really begin. In the forests of the March borderland, in Wales, in the eleventh century. William the Conquerer had swept through, but recognizing the warlike nature of the early Britons (the Welsh) and unwilling to fight the rest of his life, he left various barons in charge and left the people alone. His son, William the Red, wanting to fill his tax coffers, did not. Here is where Lawhead has set Hood, in AD 1093 Wales. Primeval forest where the Britons conducted guerilla warfare against their oppressors. (It took 200 years for the Normans to make any lasting impression on Wales.) The longbow was also the weapon of choice in that area at that time.
The legend Lawhead weaves is incredibly enticing and his action scenes would sweep up anyone. As I read I kept thinking my children would enjoy this. The only drawback is the Welsh names and words contained in the text. Latin and French are also in there, but the Welsh are the most unfamiliar and would cause the tongue to stumble in a read aloud. A pronunciation guide is included at the back of the book. The book is found in the science fiction/fantasy section of the library and I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.