Friday, July 31, 2009


Title: Hood
Author: Stephen Lawhead
Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Date: April 8, 2008
Hardback: 512 pages

Stand Alone or series: Book one of The Raven King Trilogy.

Summary:(from Goodreads)

Robin Hood

The Legend Begins Anew

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in the primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him-for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.

Like the forest itself, Hood is deep, dark, and at times savagely brutal-yet full of enchantment and hope. Internationally-acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead has created a lyrical rendering of a time-honored story that will lead you down strange pathways into another time and place.

Review: Robin Hood has been taken out of the Sherwood Forest and transplanted into the primeval forests of eleventh century Wales.

This is the first book I’ve read by Lawhead and I have a sneaking suspicion he is soon to become a favorite author of mine. He has the ability to write realistic characters. They are flawed and uncertain and entirely realistic. I also really love how the “bad” characters aren’t overdone as well. Most books seem to have a hard time with the characterization of these sorts of characters and go overboard with the cliched “evil” acts of an "evil overlord." Instead, Lawhead has a way of writing characters you dislike without them having to be seen as “evil.”

The main character, Bran, is great as well. Instead of being the honorific steadfast hero we see in a lot of books, Bran is deeply questioning of his abilities and often times wants to just run away. I can’t tell you how refreshing that is.

Notable Quotes/ Parts: I really loved the historical information at the back. It made the story more interesting and explained a lot about Lawhead’s decision to write the story the way he did.

Verdict: I loved this book. I seem to have a soft spot for the re-telling of stories. Whether it be a new twist on an old fairy tale, or a Robin Hood made into a Briton, I just love them. I’ve never read any other Robin Hood stories to be honest, but I like the way Lawhead makes the reader really believe that his story is possible.

I already put the second book in the series, Scarlet, on hold at the library and can’t wait to get started. This book was shelved in the young adult section of my library, but I don’t know if it actually constitutes a YA book. Either way, this is definitely a fantasy that can be enjoyed by a person of any age.

Rating: High 8

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