A new reign of terror has brought fear and hatred to the land, while an ancient legend stirs in the heart of the wildwood ...The Norman conquest of England is complete - but for one young man the battle has only just begun. When Bran ap Brychan's father is murdered by Norman soldiers, he flees to London, seeking justice. The journey is long and ...
A new reign of terror has brought fear and hatred to the land, while an ancient legend stirs in the heart of the wildwood ...The Norman conquest of England is complete - but for one young man the battle has only just begun. When Bran ap Brychan's father is murdered by Norman soldiers, he flees to London, seeking justice. The journey is long and hard - and the suffering of those he meets along the way fuels his anger. With his demands dismissed, Bran has no choice but to return home, but a worse fate still awaits him there. His lands have been confiscated and his people subjugated by a brutal and corrupt regime. Should Bran flee for his life or protect his people by surrendering to his father's murderers? The answer, perhaps, is known only to the Raven King - a creature of myth and magic born of the darkest shadows in the forest. Stephen R. Lawhead's Hood brings to life the legend of Robin Hood as never before.
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To be very honest, I was not completely won over by this book until the author's notes at the very end. Up until that point there were several little details that irked me mildly and made me unsure of whether to continue the series. These details included the overzealous "branding" complete with logo and tagline for this first book of the King Raven trilogy, the passivity of Merian despite all the descriptions of her as "feisty," (if you don't actually DO anything feisty, then it isn't very descriptive, is it?), and the constant use of the words "disgusted," "repulsed," and others of that ilk that the male protagonists use to describe some old female characters. This last bit really did rub me the wrong way, no matter if the characters later realized the error of their judgment.
However annoying those factors may be, I was still feeling open minded enough by the end to be swayed by the author's excited explanation of his reasons for setting the Robin Hood story in Wales at the time of Norman expansion.
As a writer, Lawhead is very capable with a plain-spoken style. While "Hood" does sometimes feel like mere exposition for the later books, it is full of action and passion and injustice, as any good retelling of the Robin Hood legend should be. I will give the sequels a chance.
Jul 12, 2007
Hood by Stephen Lawhead
A different view of the legend of Robin Hood. As is with Lawheads books it is gripping from the start and portraid a familiar story in a completely new and refreshing perspective
Publishers Weekly, 2006-07-31 Lawhead (Byzantium), known for his historical and fantasy fiction, reimagines the tale of Robin Hood in his latest novel, the first in the King Raven Trilogy. Based on detailed research, Lawhead places the folk hero (whom he names Bran) in Wales in 1093, at a time when the land was under constant assault from the new Norman rulers of England. When Bran's father, the king, is killed in an ambush along with nearly all his warriors, the land of Elfael is overtaken and its citizens subjected to great oppression. Though Bran should be king, he has lost faith (in both himself and whatever God he once knew) and decides to flee instead. Through agony and adventure, aided by a ragtag group of colorful characters, his sense of justice grows, along with his commitment to leading the people of Elfael and his creative strategies for dealing with the enemy. Lawhead examines questions of faith from both sides of the conflict, so readers see Welsh monks praying for deliverance and Norman rulers asserting their divine right to the land. The story's tone is uneven by turns sweet, violent, and funny and it gets a bit bogged down in the middle, but overall it's a fun read that will leave readers anxious for the next installment. (Sept. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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