by Aminah Mae Safi
Publication: March 1, 2022
**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
Travelers Along the Way is a Robin Hood retelling, part of the classics remix series from Macmillan Publishers. I confess that I have never read the book, but I have watched different iterations of it on screen from the animated Disney version starring a fox to the live-action starring Kevin Costner (and an extremely sappy song I love). The overall theme is present with Rahma al-Hud, this version’s Robin Hood, taking from the wealthy and giving back to those less fortunate. Along with her band of misfits, they outfox Queen Isabella and other characters to accomplish it.
A band of misfits is an appropriate name for Rahma al-Hud and her companions. At first glance, they don’t exactly fit together with their varied beliefs and outward appearances but their values align. They also all have a sense of adventure because Rahma has many risky ideas that they help to execute. Their comraderie was the compelling component of the novel, and their interactions kept me engaged with the story. Rahma and Zeena’s banter was often entertaining. The sisters may have strangled each other by the time they arrived at their destination had it not been for the presence of their new friends.
Because Rahma is arrogant, she has the potential to be an irritating main character, but it’s balanced by her giving and caring nature. Rahma is the cunning younger sister who is a risk-taker, while Zeena is often grumpy and prone to a quick temper. Despite their often opposing personalities, I was touched by how fiercely they cared for each other. At one point Rahma reveals why she became a soldier and it immensely helped endear her to me. Aside from Rahma, the rest of the characters, Zeena included, are pretty one-dimensional.
To get the most out of the book, it would be helpful to have a map handy. Some history or at least an understanding of the Crusades is also helpful to recognize the players and significance of events. I often felt like I was missing pieces or couldn’t thoroughly grasp the significance of certain things because I didn’t know or couldn’t remember these parts of history. World history was not my favorite subject in school.
I would recommend Travelers Along the Way to readers who like adventure novels and those who are fond of the found family trope. The latter is what was most appealing to me about the book and I had a fun time reading it.