If youve ever thought ok, that was cool as Robin Hood split an arrow with another arrow at the Great Archery Tournament, or wondered where the idea of Robin Hood as the defender of Saxon yeomanry against the Villainous John of Anjou, Regent for the absent Richard, got its start -- it started here.
The book isnt all about Robin Hood, though; mostly, its about Knights and Tournaments and foul Norman oppressors. Theres a tournament, a trial by combat, a castle seige, a little bit of anti-racist message (in the person of a beautiful and noble-in-spirit Jewish beauty unjustly maligned and accused of witchcraft), multiple anonymous knights (including a Black Knight!), and in short all the important highlights of medieval ballads, conveniently arranged in the format of a historical novel.
Scotts historiography is a little off (for example, at one point a character pretends to be a Franciscan monk, when the order wasnt founded until about twenty years after the novels action takes place), but Scott does make a real effort to avoid most anachronisms (moreso than many writers of historical novels). This edition also includes Scotts introduction and notes, which show that he put real effort into basing many of the events in his book on excerpts from period ballads and tales (rearranging them, of course, as per his authorial prerogative).
This ones a classic for a reason. Entertaining, archetypal, and with massive influence on everything since, from Howard Pyle to Errol Flynn to video games like Defender of the Crown. The prose style might be a little offputting to more sensitive modern readers -- it was, after all, written the same year that Queen Victoria was born, and is a little dry in some places and a little overblown in others -- but if you can get past that, youll find a classic. Enjoy.