So, yesterday I promised to tell you what I thought of "Scarlet". Stephen Lawhead took a huge risk messing with a beloved legend such as Robin Hood...but I wouldn't have wanted anyone ELSE taking this monumental task on.
This is the first series of novels by Stephen Lawhead I've read...and I picked an excellent set to feast on! Lawhead handles the new and adapted legend brilliantly, and I enjoyed this visit to King Raven's forest so much.
While "Hood" was a little too convoluted to me, it was understandable...groundwork had to be laid. That's the trouble with first novels...so much backstory has to be written that the story can tend to bog down.
That happens a lot in "Hood"--too often for me. But the action kicks up a notch in "Scarlet", and it held me captive from page one. Scarlet is I think my favorite character (with Tuck running a close second!), and the narrative in this novel is brilliant.
Will Scarlet has been captured by the evil sheriff, and is under the control of the wicked Norman empire and the corrupt King William, illegitimate heir to the throne (some things never change, do they?). As a prisoner, he narrates his portion of this trilogy to Odo, a scribe at the monastery where Scarlet's being held.
Once his narrative, or confession, is complete, he will hang lest he expose King Raven and his army. Interspersed in the narrative are little vignettes of interaction between Odo and Scarlet, and they keep the story flowing as well as provide a break for the reader to get up to speed.
The action moves much more quickly in "Scarlet", and I love the scenes with King Raven in the forest as they attack the soldiers and steal their cargo! Clever, well written and highly believable, these scenes are like a motion picture for the imagination.
Many bits and pieces from my favorite rendition of the Robin Hood legend (Kevin Costner, thank you very much!) peek through this telling, but I'll let you find those treasures for yourself.
While I wouldn't say this genre is my cup of tea, I'm growing very fond of speculative historical fiction! And Stephen Lawhead has earned his title as master of the genre in my humble opinion! I give "Scarlet" a full five out of five bookmarks, with a pair of goatskin gloves as a charm...see if you can figure out why!
This tour has been a blast...don't miss out on my blogger buddies and their thoughts...get a well rounded view of "Scarlet" by visiting:
Wayne Thomas Batson
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here
John W. Otte
Daniel I. Weaver
P.S. No giveaway this time, but visit Stephen Lawhead's website for a sample of "Hood" and to hear music written especially for the King Raven Trilogy!