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Scarlet (The King Raven, Book 2) Paperback – June 8, 2008
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About the Author
Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He is the author of such epics as The King Raven, Song of Albion, and Dragon King Trilogies. Lawhead makes his home in Oxford, England, with his wife. Twitter: @StephenLawhead Facebook: StephenRLawhead--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
While last year's "Hood" followed the origins of Lawhead's Welsh Rhi Bran Hud, "Scarlet" takes us into the life of Will Scarlet. From the first page, Lawhead establishes a wonderful character with a literary voice that's consistent, lyrical, and captivating. Will is in prison, awaiting his own hanging. In the meantime, he dictates his story of meeting and pledging fealty to Bran, King Raven. We see wonderful glimpses into medieval life. We become entwined in the political/religious intrigues of the day, and we meet new heroes and villains. From Will's initial archery contest with Bran, to his gallows day, Lawhead wields his pen with attention to detail, character, and plot.
"Scarlet" meanders into a fascinating tale, gives us some romance and action, then ends with a cliffhanger, a perfect bridge into the final book, titled "Tuck." Lawhead is having fun with this trilogy and, to the delight of his readers, it shows.
When I read HOOD I have to admit that I began it fully expecting to take in the story with a grain of salt. I was pleasantly surprised that Lawhead could re-imagine the story of Robin Hood and convey his image in a manner that captured me in the first chapter. SCARLET is a sequel that does not disappoint. The character development was flawless and I could feel myself emphathizing with Will "Scarlet" Scatlocke and at least relating with the Sheriff (but not quite empathizing).
The thing I found greatest about this book was that while it's still a story about Robin Hood, it is mostly related as narrative by Will Scatlocke and Will plays as the central character.
Both HOOD and SCARLET are great novels for those interested in a more grown-up version of the story of Robin Hood as well as those that enjoy historical fiction (although I cannot vouch for how historically accurate/inaccurate the books are). They are reminiscent of Mary Stewart's MERLIN TRILOGY in that both sets of books relate fantastic tales of seemingly far-fetched accounts that may or may not have occurred in a manner that, at the least, makes the stories plausible.
These KING RAVEN novels are the first novels I've read by Stephen R. Lawhead so I'm not giving my review based from the standpoint of someone who loves all things Lawhead. Having said, if TUCK is as great as the first two novels in this series, I may become a Lawhead fan after all.
The romance is among Lawhead's better renditions. I do fear that some of Lawhead's works tended to repeat themselves (this was especially true in the Pendragon Cycle). Here, the romance is more sensible and realistic. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Will and Noin. Also, the back and forth between Merian and Bran is better done than in Hood.
I definitely recommend this work as one of Lawhead's more mature writings. Also, be sure to find the soundtrack that goes with it. There is an official King Raven Trilogy soundtrack. Go to Itunes and type in Brian Dunning and Jeff Johnson.
This book also goes beyond Hood because it effectively showed the oppression the Normans enacted on the Welsh and how they were caught between them and the Britons. But then if I hadn't understood that, I would not have cared for the characters as much as I did. Even the monk recording Will's story becomes a likeable character caught between the outlaws (who are really the outcasts) and the church that aligned itself with whatever power prevailed. (Which makes me eager to read about a religious man who is a rebel in the next book, Tuck!)
I really think Lawhead keeps getting better and better.
Author of Brigid of Ireland
Compared to Hood, which was a fine book, I thought the plot of Scarlet slow-paced. The book begins with Will in prison, scheduled to hang. It is this crisis and it's resolution that, I believe, the author intended to keep the reader on the edge of their seat while the 'main' storyline around Bran's effort to free Elfael from the Ffreinc unfolded. However, if like me, you don't buy the threat of Will's imminent demise, you'll depend on the tale he tells to keep you excited and, as I said, that story takes a long time to warm up. In fact, it's not until some 300 pages into the book until a new plan (the first plan being that which unfolded in Hood) is hatched to free Elfael - freeing Elfael being the primary motivation for all of Bran's band to begin with.
One thing Scarlet does better than Hood is portray for us the true villainy of the Ffreinc. In Hood, yes, they were the bad-guys, but more or less not really more ruthless than the Britons, just on the opposing side. A scene where the Marshall Guy and his men cruelly slaughter a farmer's livelihood, and later where the Sherriff of the March hangs that very same farmer with no mercy (and still later tries to hang three more innocent victims) goes a long way to giving the readers someone to really root _against_.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vivid characters, really marvelous descriptive detailing of the world he sets his story in. The Welsh aspect of the Robin Hood legend is as fascinating as it is gritty.Published 2 months ago by Frank Armeson
The hyphenation of words that don't need a hyphen drove me crazy. in my opinion the story pacing was slow.Published 2 months ago by Michael Green
Scarlet is the second book in the king raven trilogy from Stephen r lawhead. Hood was good and despite some negative reviews I thought scarlet even better. Read morePublished 3 months ago by virginia corley
Although not as good as Book 1 in the King Raven trilogy, Scarlet was nevertheless an enjoyable novel. Read morePublished 3 months ago by honeybee
A fresh new way to look at a new possibility for the Robin Hood saga. Very well done.Published 4 months ago by Turfman
Expertly written and enthralling. Couldn't put it down! Will definitely continue reading Stephen Lawhead. Intricate story telling and expert attention to detail. Loved it!Published 7 months ago by Jillian F Howell
What a great way to study medieval history! Among the legends and lore of Robin Hood, there is much truth to be found.Published 9 months ago by Leah Kozik
Lawhead retells the legion of Robin Hood in a interesting a exciting way. Each book in the series is written from a different characters perspective.Published 12 months ago by N. Ellis
The Raven King Series is SO good. I love Robin Hood and this series did not disappoint!Published 13 months ago by Jody