- Series: King Raven Trilogy (Book 1)
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (June 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595540881
- ISBN-13: 978-1595540881
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 254 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hood (King Raven Trilogy) Paperback – June 3, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* The first in a trilogy called King Raven, Hood tells the story of an alternative Robin Hood, a rebel in the deep forests of Wales in 1093. (Lawhead's extensive research convinced him of this premise.) Son of a king, a young man named Bran is made homeless when his father is killed and the kingdom of Elfael becomes a pawn to squabbling Norman factions. A long and fascinating time in the wilderness, in which Bran's faith and health are restored by an old woman of mystical origins, brings him at last to his destiny: leading a band of dauntless archers against the kingdom's usurpers. Robin Hood is born, along with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and Little John, in this highly imaginative, earthy adventure that has little to do with Errol Flynn but is just as rousing. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Hood a tale that re-imagines the lore of Robin Hood not as English but as Welsh. If you're like me, the only thing you know about Robin Hood is from the Looney Toons or Disney's anthropomorphic version, i.e., limited. There's also Errol Flynn and Kevin Costner's interpretation of Robin Hood of which I've never seen. And there's Russell Crowe's Robin Hood which I suppose is forgetful because I recall nothing of it, but I digress.
Going into this with limited knowledge of Robin Hood, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. The character development of our protagonist was great; slow building but by the end of the novel a fist pump is in order, especially be the end of the epilogue. The characterisations of the antagonists are grand as well; you hate them with varying degrees of odiousness. However, as much as I loved the protagonist, Bran, I found myself having more affection towards the supporting characters behind Bran. If one of those characters gets written off, I may or may not become emo-devastated.
By the end of Book One, the tone has been set and the intrigue established leading into Book Two.
With an open mind and open to genres, I don't think you can do wrong with Hood . There's a certain realism with the setting and environments presented to the reader. The fantasy portion seems to be steeped in Albion folklore/fairy tales and not necessarily, "I cast magic missile on your ass." I wouldn't necessarily call this a "must read" book, but something to add to the queue should the genre fit your mood.
I am just not sure that I buy completely the mechanism that King Raven used to scare the bad guys, that battle-hardened knights would just cower that easily; just a guy in a black feathered hood, some tricky lighting/shadowing, and some well-orchestrated fires and psychological warfare. And his transformation from Bran into the legendary monster of the forest just sort of happened after this long recuperation period(which was as painful for me as it was for the character) under the care of an old crone witch/alchemist character. After the descriptions of the huts that his people lived in (in the secret hideout) and of some of the decorations they used, I wondered where I had seen this before, and it struck me that it reminded me of the depiction of the Forsworn in the game Skyrim, with their furs and animal skulls, as is the scenario whereby they were forced out of their cities into the woodlands and hills by the invading Nords...
The antagonist, bad-guy characters don't seem to me to have much complexity.....they are just mostly evil, most of the time: conquer, pillage, enslave, rinse and repeat. They hate each other about as much as they do the Welsh, constantly jockeying/competing for an advantage over the others. Bran's character is interesting in that he does usually have good motives and that he is also portrayed as having significant character flaws(significantly more than the usual Robin Hood depictions that I am used to) and is plagued by doubts at various times. There are some interesting characters like Tuck that I did enjoy reading about.