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Scarlet (The King Raven Trilogy, Book 2) Hardcover – September 18, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the King Raven Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Hood: '... a fun read that will leave readers anxious for the next installment.' Publisher's Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595540865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595540867
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're a Stephen Lawhead fan, you need to catch his spin on the classic Robin Hood tale. Obviously, he gives it his own historic ambiance, exploring old and new ideas with respect, but without rigidity. If you're not a Lawhead fan...Time to join the bandwagon! Since the Pendragon Cycle and the Song of Albion series, he has consistently given us entertaining and intelligent stories. "Hood" and "Scarlet" only add to his impressive resume.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
It's too bad that TUCK has been delayed but at least it isn't altogether canceled. I hope Lawhead makes a full recovery or as full a recovery as nature will allow.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I won't tell about the story line because that wouldn't be fair to the reader. I won't ruin it for you. But about the book itself, its style and flow. This book is so much better than *Hood.* The storyline is crisper, its characters so much more mature, and the dialouge is cleare.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave Hood a five star rating because I truly enjoyed it. But I liked Scarlet even better. Lawhead does an excellent job creating a character that the reader truly roots for. I think this is because he presented Will Scarlet's point of view in first person. Only a writer as skilled as Lawhead could switch from first person in the main character's voice and third person for the other characters and pull it off.

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.

Cindy Thomson
Author of Brigid of Ireland
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Format: Hardcover
After Hood, I had a difficult time getting used to the narrative voice of William Scatlocke. This alone may be what had me torn between rating this with three stars or four. Though I had to admit to myself that by the end of the book I had come to like our character Will quite well, if I don't give this tome a three-star rating, I will have no room in the future to identify the stories I truly, truly enjoyed. (Hood was a four, for me.)

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_.
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