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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Must Reads #4: "Hood," "Scarlet," and "Tuck" by Stephen R. Lawhead

Title: The Raven King Series (Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck)
Author: Stephen R. Lawhead
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Edition: Hardcover: April 8, 2008
Back Cover Summary: The Legend Begins Anew

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Stephen R. Lawhead's latest work conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare yourself for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.
With my love of all things Robin Hood in full bloom, picking up this book was a real no-brainer! What? More Robin Hood stories to fuel my obsession? Yes, please! What? It's a trilogy? Heck-to-the-yes!

Hood is a brand new take on the Robin Hood Legend. Where most tellings base the story around the 13th or 14th century, Lawhead decides to base it more around 1066 when the Normans (French) decide to invade England and take of the little Welsh kingdoms.
High Notes: The history is fabulous! I first started reading the series when I was taking Medieval Civilization and England to 1600 back to back in college. I was able to keep right up with the book and all the politics that were going on between the Welsh people and their new Norman conquerors. Might be a little more difficult to keep track of for someone who was not previously taught the history, but as long as you care to understand it, there really shouldn't be a problem.

Each book has a different narrator, Hood is narrated by Hood, or Bran, as he is called, Scarlet is narrated by Will Scarlet, my personal favorite, he was very funny, and Tuck is narrated by Friar Tuck.

This is also an origin story, which is always fun. Bran starts out as a bit spoiled, really only thinking of himself, fooling around with Marian from time to time, until his land is stolen from him and he is wounded and forced into the woods where he is thought to die, only to be reborn, after months of stubbornness, as a powerful leader.

There are many characters you will recognize and others that steal your love just as easily as the old ones!
Low Notes: Some slow parts, like in Hood when Bran is wounded, it takes a long time for him to heal and become stronger, but you do get to see him grow and morph into the legend that he is, which is very interesting.

If you're looking for romance, you might not get all that you want. There is a love story between Bran and Marian as you would expect, but it takes a long time to develope and is really on the back burner for almost all the books. There are other little relationshipd that help fill in, but it really is all about Bran's transformation and his and the Welsh peoples' impact on this particular period in history.
Character Development: 5/5
Dialogue: 4/5 Not a ton of dialogue.
Prose: 4/5 Bit confusing at times.
Believability: 5/5 More believable then almost an Robin Hood I have read or seen!
Style and Grammar: 5/5
Entertainment Value: 4/5 You have got to be into it or else it could seem a bit tedious.
Overall Rating: 90% Best Robin Hood book I have read thus far!


  1. I do love the Robin Hood tale in itself and would never miss a movie about it, but this sounds a little literary and clunky for my taste (impatient at best :P) and no romance - isn't that a HUGE part of the Robin story? At least 50% of the allure, surely. Yes, the action is always cool, the humour the camaraderie, but the romance rounds it off. I'd miss it. But my sister adores history and will be at University later this year studying it. She would probably love it. Although where she'd get chance to read in between three kids and uni I've no idea :) Still, I might gift it to her kindle anyway :P

    1. There is romance between Robin and Marian, just not as much as you would hope. It really is just in the background a lot of the time. It's most prevalent in "Scarlet," the second book, because Marian lives in the woods for a bit until she runs off on her own to try and get her father to help Robin.

  2. PS: I 'followed you and your boards of Pinterest. I'm not sure I know what I'm doing on there, but I'm pinning :)

    1. Awesome! I know. I juust go on on random times and add something.

  3. The trilogy about King Raven is a magnificent masterpiece of real genius. Loved it!


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