Friday, February 6, 2015

King Raven trilogy: a fresh and exciting adventure of the Robin Hood legend

The King Raven trilogy by Stephan R. Lawhead is a new and exciting twist on the Robin Hood legend. I’ve read Mr. Lawhead’s work before and I have truly enjoyed them. When I heard he was writing this trilogy, I wanted to read it. I never got the chance and other books took priority. I forgot about the trilogy until my aunt gave me the first book and the anticipation grew.

Hood is the first book and is about Bran ap Brychan, Prince of Elfael in Wales. His father is king who is brutally murdered by Count Flakes de Braose, a Norman nobleman who has begun to invade Wales. King William II has given land in Wales to various nobles in order to invade the land as his father, William the Conqueror, had done in England. This book is Bran’s journey from spoil prince to ousted prince who is trying to get his land and people back to outlaw. How he begins to steal from the rich Normans and gives to the poor of Wales.

Scarlet is the second book and is told form the perspective of Will Scarlet as he is in jailed awaiting execution. He tells his story to Odo, a monk who has been charged with writing down this tale. It has been a year since the ending of Hood and another Welsh king has fallen to the Norman invaders. His lands have been proclaimed as King William’s under Forest Law and a sheriff has been assigned to guard the land. Sheriff de Granville is evil and ruthless. Will accounts his adventures as a member of Bran’s band of outlaws. Will he be rescued in time?

Tuck is the final book of the trilogy. The story picks up right where Scarlet leaves off. The struggle is coming to a close. Bran is close to getting his home back from the evil Normans. He will not find allies in familiar places as well as find ones in the unusual places. Will he be able to persuade King William II to give him back his land or will he have a war with London now? The twists and turns, joy and sadness fill the pages and bring an exciting close to this trilogy. Tuck is a fitting end to a great telling of the Robin Hood legend.

It was a fun adventure to read about Robin Hood in Wales. I really enjoyed King Raven trilogy, although long and the names may be difficult to pronounce but once the adventure picks up, I was cheering for Bran and eagerly anticipated the next books. All the same players are here. Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Little John, Friar Tuck and an evil sheriff doing the binding of an ruthless king. I’ve read that many people were upset that Robin Hood wasn’t in Sherwood Forest but as Mr. Lawhead explains that there is evidence that the Robin Hood legend actually began in Wales following William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066. I love how Mr. Lawhead gave a scenario on how the Robin Hood legend became English. The King Raven trilogy is a new and exciting take on the Robin Hood legend and I highly recommend it.