Scarlet - King Raven, Bk 2 Author:Stephen R. Lawhead After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest -- and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion -- Will joins the heroic archer and his men. — Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His s... more »entence is death by hanging -- unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.
That, of course, he will never do.
Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.
From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.
Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead's riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Lawhead's trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.« less
Hood was an incredibly good book. Scarlet was even better.
Like all first books in a series, Hood had to spend a fair amount of time in character introduction and development. Scarlet, being the second in the series, wasted no time in getting to the good stuff.
Unlike Hood, this book is narrated mostly in a first-person account told in something of a flashback by Will Scatlocke (aka Will Scarlet). The portions of the story that he is unable to narrate are carried on by the same omniscient third person that gave voice to Hood.
Without describing the plot I will simply say that the political intrigue continues to build. Bran and his Grellon increase their mischief and their meddling. There is no shortage of espionage and infiltrations. There is also no lack of the longbow.
For those who have already enjoyed Hood, you will find Scarlet to be a rewarding continuation of an already outstanding series. If you haven't read either book yet, stop wasting your time by reading these reviews. Hurry up and order the books already!
Will Scatlocke lost his home and his livelihood with the coming of William the Red to the throne. As he travels, working to feed and house himself he hears about King Raven, a robber of the wealthy, who shares what he gets with those who have little or nothing.
The story is told largely by Will who becomes Will Scarlet when he joins King Raven's band. He is accepted after a bow duel with Raven himself. Raven beats him by a hair but welcomes him into the group anyway. As they strive to win back Raven's throne, they encounter the wrath of Abbott Hugo who has lofty ambitions, Count de Broase, who rules Raven's lands and people, and Richard de Glanville, the cruel sheriff of the March. In a daring raid, Will is captured and thrown into prison where he make a friend of a Monk named Odo who interviews him day after day. It is only when Will goes to the gallows that he realizes how tenuous his existence really is.
The character of Will Scarlet is complex, likable and loyal. And, the book includes a wonderfully inspiring romance between Will and Noin who at last find a way to be wed. The tale is long and convoluted but fascinating. Recommend this one to anyone interested in the story of Robin Hood but do read the first in the series, Hood, before reading Scarlet.