by: Stephen R. Lawhead

Challenge: First in a Series

Series: King Raven Trilogy, Book 1

Published: 2006

# of pages: 496

Hood is a retelling of Robin Hood, a legend that typically takes place in Sherwood Forest in England. Lawhead changes the story in several ways, but without taking away from the quality and excitement of the typical tale. Lawhead has a talent for retelling famous legends, such as the story of King Arthur in his Pendragon Cycle. He changes the stories to make them unique, but keeps the core values and overall feeling so that we still love them just as much.

Bran is a prince whose father is killed by Norman invaders. His land, located in Wales, is also taken and his people are forced into slavery. Bran, his large friend Iwan, and a tubby friar join forces to "earn" the money to buy back Bran's inheritated land. They find that the only way to acquire the money is to take it from the very Normans who are ruining the kingdom. Sound familiar?

I thought this book was well written and enjoyed the historical contexts (I found the author's defense of placing "Robin Hood" in Wales fascinating!). I still can't figure out if it's technically a Christian novel or not, because while there is mention of God (mainly by the clergy that are in the story), there are other parts that aren't your typical Christian novel material. I was glad to see that there isn't a preachy tone and that the religious parts are short, to the point, and fit in naturally with the story. The main characters aren't goody goody or even very religious. I can hear sermons at church on Sunday, I don't need to read them in books too! So I think this novel is appropriate for Christians and people who aren't religious. The book is violent, but clean, making this appropriate for older teens and adults alike.

The book seemed a little slow in some parts. I think that since Lawhead knew he would turn this into a series, he took his time drawing the story out. It wasn't slow enough to bore me, but I think it could have been improved with a faster pace. However, this was worth reading and I'm already looking forward to reading the next in the series, Scarlet.

1 comment:

Myckyee said...

Hmmm...this book sounds interesting. I like the way you preface your reviews with a broader, overall description of the book.

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