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Hood (King Raven #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8,996 ratings  ·  998 reviews
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.

Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Stephen R. Lawhead's latest work conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contem
Hardcover, 490 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by WestBow Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Robin Hood and Friar Tuck together once again...but not quite as all of us remember them:

Never fear HOODites...Sir Daffy’s “oscar worthy” portrayal notwithstanding, Stephen Lawhead’s re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend is among the best I’ve come across and is praise-deserving for both its realism and its fresh, unique interpretation of the familiar tale. For the most part, I found this version very effective.

Rather than England’s well trodden Sherwood Forest, Lawhead has transported his st
Sep 08, 2010 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of action-oriented historical fiction
Lawhead is one of my favorite authors, so I had a built-in interest in his King Raven trilogy as soon as I heard about it. (This first volume didn't disappoint!) Unlike the author's Dragon King and Song of Albion fantasy trilogies, this one is a work of historical fiction; like Parke Godwin in Sherwood, he's set himself to re-imagine what the actual roots of the Robin Hood legend might have been like, and like the latter he locates Robin in the 11th century, not the 12th. Lawhead, though, places ...more
I'm not any sadder for reading this book, but I'm certainly not any more enriched or anything. His historical spin on the Robin Hood legend is well-conceived but poorly executed. It's got plenty of action and the dialogue isn't awful, but there was just something missing for me. I didn't care about the protagonist and I didn't love or hate anyone else in the story. It was just one of those books that I had no problem finishing, but when I was done just sort of shrugged, scratched my nose and too ...more
Stephen Lawhead's new trilogy about Robin Hood, the King Raven trilogy, is pretty unusual in its portrayal of Robin Hood as a Welsh prince in the time of William II rather than a dispossessed aristocrat during Richard the Lionheart's crusades. Stephen Lawhead includes an epilogue, 'Robin Hood in Wales', in which he explains his reasoning.

It will seem strange to many readers, and perhaps even perverse, to take Robin Hood out of Sherwood Forest and relocate him in Wales; worse still, to remove all
This version of the Robin Hood story is taken from the stand point that puts most of it happening on the welsh side not the English like the story is usually set in. Just one of the reasons I liked the book. The part of Hood is played by a man named Bran and how he started becoming the "Robin Hood" figure starts in this book as well the introduction of some of the characters we know. Bran, "the Robin Hood" character, is not the good guy at first but a womanizing, duty shirking prince. Kinda puts ...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Hood is the first novel in Stephen Lawhead's latest series, the King Raven Trilogy, which is a historical fantasy based on the Robin Hood legend. Lawhead places his story in Wales after the conquest of Britain by the Normans and during the reign of William the Red. (If that sounds a bit odd, Mr. Lawhead gives several convincing reasons for this at the end of the book -- you might want to read that first.)

The Normans are encroaching into Wales, confiscating
Mar 27, 2009 Kipi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anglophiles and lovers of British history
When I discovered a relatively new series of books based on the Robin Hood legend, I was immediately interested. It began when I saw an ad here on for Tuck, the recently published last installment of the trilogy. It was one of those flashing ads that for the most part are simply annoying, but advertising works and I finally clicked on it…and discovered a treasure. Stephen Lawhead is an internationally-known Christian writer who, I am somewhat ashamed to say, I had not heard of unti ...more
Anthony Chavez
Bran's father is killed and his land of Elfael taken by Ffreinc invaders, he escapes barely with his life, while recovering a minstrel/healer tells/sings him the story of the King Raven, the story instills life into his broken body and over time it becomes a part of him, once healed he vows to help his people and gain back what was stolen from the lands of Elfael.

I like the research Lawhead does into the history and lore of the characters he chooses, like Merlin, Hood, King Arthur and so on. I h
Mike (the Paladin)
This book falls just a little short of the 5 star mark. I enjoyed it greatly...have the next volume in the series (Scarlet) on my shelf waiting and hope to get to it fairly quickly (I have hundreds of books on my shelves I'm hoping to get to rather quickly LOL).

Why 4 stars? There was (for me) a little "dragging" or "draggy-ness" in the story just past the midpoint. I also was a little less than impressed with the "modern writer writing an epic from the past" chapter. I found myself skimming a li
Aug 30, 2014 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like fairy tales and historical fiction
This book was really enjoyable. It was my first Lawhead book and I think I will look for the sequels and possible other series of his as well. Every once in a while there was a monologue of a character's thoughts on their past and I hated it and love it at the same time. Part of me would just want to get past it so I could get back to the action and events in the story, while at the same time it was interesting and fairly important to understanding the character, the events, and to find empathy. ...more
Hood sets the King Raven trilogy off to a great start. I enjoyed the way Lawhead places Hood in Wales, circa 1093, and completely reinvents the legend from what I've known before. Brilliant, captivating and left me eager for more. Most impressive is Lawhead didn't leave me with a cliffhanger; he didn't so much as end this first part of the trilogy as pause it. I appreciate that difference.
Jenna St Hilaire
"The Welsh are extreme in all they do, so that if you never meet anyone worse than a bad Welshman, you will never meet anyone better than a good one." Thus writes Gerald of Wales, quoted at the back of this novel as part of Lawhead's fascinating defense for his choice to set the Robin Hood legend among the Cymry—the eleventh-century Welsh. The quote continues with: "Above all, they are passionately devoted to liberty, and almost excessively warlike."

Lawhead's "Rhi Bran"—'King Raven'—starts off r
This is the first book of "THE KING RAVEN TRILOGY" by Stephen R. Lawhead.

Most of us know the tale of Robin Hood who spent a lot of time in Sherwood Forest.
For more information please look at:

When I think of Robin Hood I always see the picture of Errol Flynn. This is my Robin Hood:

"Robin Hood: The Legend Begins Anew
For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the

Unfortunately, when compared to Parke Godwin’s Sherwood, this comes off as a watered down copy of Godwin’s story. Godwin and Lawhead both set the Robin Hood story shortly after the Norman Conquest, but Godwin’s version has a lot more depth to it.

Lawhead’s take was to set the story in Wales and argue that the seed for the Robin Hood stories was Welsh. It’s a great set up, but the story itself is a lot of set up and not a whole lot of substance. There’s some myth and magic thrown in, but it’s pret
I've never read any Robin Hood retellings or any Lawhead books so this was pretty new for me. I had no standards for this book because of it, so I was neither disappointed nor pleasantly surprised.

In the beginning of the book it wasn't that hard to get into. There is action within the first chapter. It continues this way for a while, switching between boring details and action. The boring details take forever and consume almost half the book. You learn the whole history of Great Britain to the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Telander
There are a couple of “legends” in British history that many people worldwide know about: one of them is King Arthur and the other is Robin Hood. Arthur has an entire bookshelf of history and fiction written about him, and many of those fiction books profess to be as accurate as the possible truth, even though it is still not fully known if there ever was such a living person. As for Robin Hood, much of the same story and lore shrouds this figure, and yet the amount written about him is small in ...more
I'm not sure if I buy the idea of the Welsh connection, but outside of that everything here feels like "been there, done that". Changing the historical time period was done in Godwin's work, who set it during the Conquest, the Old gods was done in Robin of Sherwood (Lawhead just changed the name and gender). Bran isn't that likable (which is fine) but all characters are just simple ciphers.

Maybe if I hadn't read Godwin's work first.
Jennie Pratt
I really loved the historical fiction aspect of this book. The possible origin of the real Robin Hood tale and how it probably morphed as the bards re-told the tale over time was really fascinating! It was intelligently told and I very much enjoyed the story.

I can't really put my finger on what exactly is holding me back from thinking this was an awesome book. Thinking back on it, I was never fully drawn into the book to the point that I couldn't put it down. It was easy to put down. It was easy
rating: 4/5

A very different view of the Robin Hood tale taking place in the Wales (so is it a surprise that I imagined Gareth David-Lloyd as Bran?) during the time of William II instead of England. Lawhead makes his case on why he chose Wales but since I am completely lacking in knowledge regarding Welsh history (which I will make a point to remedy at some point), I just decided to enjoy the story without analysis.

Bran ap Brychan is a Welsh prince raised by a distant father after his mother's d
For reasons I don't entirely understand, I've always had a fascination with Robin Hood. I had a general fascination with archery as a child, and it may be that there was something about a character with a reputation for being such a skilled bowman that drew my attention. Maybe it was the entirely to numerous viewings of Prince of Thieves (which, awful though it may be, holds a special place in my heart) as a youth. Who knows? Whatever the case, the fascination is there, and it combined with my b ...more
This book promised much... but delivered little. I love the legend of Robin Hood, so really, how could I not enjoy any book based on the thieving outlaw and his merry men? Well, for a start, Robin (or Bran, as he's known in this version) is kind of the main character, but not really, with lots of chapters dedicated to Baron this and Count that's points of view (which are, quite frankly, boring). Then there's the fact that the legend's shifted to Wales, and all the familiar characters aren't call ...more
Joshua Keezer
Hood is one of those books that could have been truly amazing if not for some really simple problems. As a thousand other reviews will tell you, this is a variation of Robin Hood that pits a Welsh prince named Bran in the seat of Robin Hood and using The Marsh in place of Shirewood Forest.

The concept of the story is a great one. I was finding it very refreshing to discover a character I had met was one of the mythology. Certain characters kind of sneak up on you where others are obvious. Even w
Marie Friesen
Stephen Lawhead gives a convincing argument for placing Robin Hood in Welsh country, as opposed to the much more familiar Sherwood Forest. I've been drawn to Welsh history ever since I watched Sir Derek Jacobi play a medieval monk in the Cadfael mystery series, so Robin Hood's relocation to that time and place was a lot of fun for me.[return][return]In this story, Robin Hood actually goes by the name Bran. He's the reckless and self-serving son of an angry Welsh King, whose lands are about to be ...more
Lydia Presley
Robin Hood is one of my favorite characters in history. I love both the myth and the facts surrounding him and was excited to get my hands on Stephen Lawhead's King Raven trilogy.

First - let me say that the look and feel of these three books is magnificent. The artwork, the font used and the size of them have made more than a few people stop to look and exclaim over how beautiful they are. I had not even read them before I knew I had to have them and I was glad to see that the insides lived up t
so far the story itself and the setting are both interesting, but I feel like I'm wading through words. Where was this man's editor? the constant switches in perspective are really distracting too.
finally, my labor of love is ended! I labored, not for love of this book, but love of my mother who recommended this to me as one of her favorites, and "as good as Lord of the Rings". ahem. I beg to differ. I felt like I was DROWNING in description in this book. How man
Hood was a little weird.

Things I liked:

1) The setting of Britain divided between Normans, British, and English.

2) Little pieces of historical information, like:

“The real reason the council lasted so long came down to the Forest Law.”
Mérian had heard of this and knew all right-thinking Britons, as well as Saxons and Danes, resented it bitterly. The reason was simple: the decree transformed all forested lands in England into one vast royal hunting preserve owned by the king. Even to enter a fore
Sandy Vaughan
Narrated by Adam Verner

Length:12 hrs and 20 mins

Did you ever read or watch any of various Robin Hood stories? I did! I don't think I missed any one of them starting with Errol Flynn. I loved all with their slight changes here and there. The characters of Hood are a different but underneath I see the influence of Robin's story.

Mr. Lawhead's writing is delightful and colorful that made the scenes vivid in my mind. 'Makes me wish I had a young one to share with whom I could sh
I love this book. It's a different take on the legend of Robin Hood. He and his "merry" men are much darker. It takes place in Wales instead of England (not the Sherwood Forest we're used to). In this telling, "Robin Hood" is actually a prince of a small kingdom--Elfael--in Wales that has been taken over by the dreaded French. The French buy the rights to the kingdom from the horrible King William. The French kill the King of Elfael and almost all of his men. His son, our hero, and rightful heir ...more
Sarah Kate
I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Robin Hood. I found the writing beautiful, the characters vivid, and the setting deliciously wild and creepy. I particularly enjoyed the author's note at the end, explaining some of his choices for the story with historical evidence. It is fascinating to think that there is some kind of truth to these stories.
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Stephen R. Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. His works include Byzantium, Patrick, and the series The Pendragon Cycle, The Celtic Crusades, and The Song of Albion.

Also see his fanpage at Myspace:

Stephen was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. Most of his early life was spent in America where he earned
More about Stephen R. Lawhead...
Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1) Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3) Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2) Scarlet (King Raven, #2) The Paradise War (The Song of Albion, #1)

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