Back in November 2007, I talked a bit about the King Raven Series by Stephen Lawhead. Let me give you a refresher.
First off, let me tell you about Hood by Stephen Lawhead, then I'll tell you about the sequel Scarlet. We will then work our way toward the final part of the trilogy Tuck.
This book, Hood, was really enjoyable. It was my first Lawhead book and I think I will always look for the sequels and possible other series of his as well.
Every once in a while there was a monologue of a character's thoughts on their past and I hated it and love it at the same time. Part of me would just want to get past it so I could get back to the action and events in the story, while at the same time it was interesting and fairly important to understanding the character, the events, and to find empathy.
This is a more realistic version of the fantasy Robin Hood than most others you find and I love it. I really enjoyed how it was not dumbed down to perfection and happily ever after. There is strife, and religion, and ignorance, and love, and family, and happiness goals. I was taken aback at the setting at first because it does not have many of the places and names that I'm familiar with, but in the end of the book, after the novel, it has his explanation of why, and it is fabulous. I'm a history buff and to get this short history lesson on the true tales of Robin Hood was fascinating to me. I really enjoyed this book.
Will Scarlet has always been my favorite Robin Hood character for as long as I can remember knowing different versions of the historical tales. This book does not change that at all. This is Will Scarlet in more depth than any book or film has ever shown him. Everything you ever once thought of him or wanted to know is given in a wonderfully melodious tone by Stephen Lawhead and your imagination can soar.
I was thoroughly impressed by Hoodef="/search/search?q= Hood&t=title"> Hood, but so much more by Scarlet yet in different ways. I recommend this book to anyone who loves celtic, Britons, old english, Robin Hood, medieval, knights, and chivalry... as well as just good old adventure.
There is nothing "tasteless" in this novel as you find in many books these days... meaning there is moral delimma with characters that are just out right evil. But you do not find the protagonists as lust filled murders. It is just plain good stories twisted together to keep you up hours into the night reading until there is no more. So sad that I had to wait until 2009 for the Trilogy end Tuck... but I was fairly certain it will be worth it. I was not mistaken.
While going from really enjoying Hood and then to absolutely loving Scarlet it was no surprise that I was thoroughly impressed with Tuck. The first book in the series, Hood was told from a narrative standpoint outside the eyes of the main characters. The second, Scarlet was directly dictated by Scarlet himself. And lastly, the third, Tuck was narrated partially by Tuck and partially by an outside vision. The change in perspective through out the series was very unique to me and I felt that it made the series come more alive than it would have in a monotone narration.
Though, I suppose one could read this book alone without having read the first two in the series. I would not suggest it because you will miss so much, however the bard's poetry through out in the beginning of each section does a wonderful job of recreating the tale. Having read the first two books over two years ago, I really loved having the reminder of the plot that I might have forgotten.
Friar Tuck's final installation to the trilogy completes the story in a favorable manor that I could never have imagined. There is much action and battle, but also underlying romance from characters you would not have thought it possible. Easily, I would tell you that this story is about hope and perseverance. Journeys to other areas of the continent filled with excitement and disappointment as well build through out the story and give you encouragement to continuously turn the pages until there are no more.
My one regret with this story is that it has ended. It was so good and so much fun to read that I cannot wait for future books filled with the imagination of Stephen Lawhead to become available. I highly recommend this book, but also the entire series as well. Go read the excerpts available on Lawhead's website and decide for yourself if it might be of interest. I doubt you will be disappointed.
Oh, and there are other Lawhead books that I've read that didn't "hook" me, but these King Raven Trilogy books are really to die for. And in addition to Lawhead's King Raven Trilogy if you want a similar story but from the eyes of Maid Marian/Merian check out my past blog on Elsa Watson's Maid Marian.
Schedule. At present, our schedule for the coming months is as follows:
* May 18-20– Tuck by Stephen Lawhead (adult mythic fantasy)
* June 22-24 – Vanish by Tom Pawlik (adult supernatural suspense)
* July 20-22 – Enclave by Karen Hancock (adult science fiction/fantasy – tentative)