Stephen R. Lawhead discussion

King Raven trilogy

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message 1: by Werner (new)

Werner Yesterday, I finished reading Hood, the first novel in Lawhead's King Raven trilogy, a bold imagining of the roots of the Robin Hood legend in the Welsh marches in the reign of William Rufus. I was very impressed with this opening volume! If you're interested, you can read my review here: . Has anyone else read any or all of this trilogy, and do you have any thoughts or impressions to share about it?

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (marcher08) I too just finished reading Hood. I found it very enjoyable. I found that the placement of the Robin Hood legend in a different era than the one normally chosen added a fresh point of view to the story. I also thought that the author's reasons for doing so were valid. I think the aspect of the book I most enjoyed was Bran as the reluctant king and hero.

message 3: by Werner (new)

Werner Michelle, I also appreciated the skillful use of the "reluctant hero" archetype here. That element is present in Lawhead's other works that I've read, too.

On another thread, you invited others to comment on Lawhead's "understated" use of Christian elements here. Lawhead's faith is reflected here mainly, of course, in his sympathetic treatment of the role of simple Catholic Christian faith in the life of his good characters: in the example of their lives, the explicit mentions of individual and collective prayer and thanksgiving, and Angharad's beautiful songs of Christian worship. In this historical setting, that kind of treatment arises very naturally, and fits seamlessly into the fabric of the story, which is a very effective way of presenting it, IMO. (Christian elements here are actually more explicit than they are in other Lawhead works I've read, mostly because the setting does make them more natural.)

Of course, Lawhead (like Jesus and Paul) is well aware that religion can be abused: falsely claimed as sanction for oppression, and/or used as a cloak for the selfish pursuit of wealth and power. Those abuses are depicted here, too; but the juxtaposition of the false religion of characters like Abbot Hugo vs. genuine faith only serves to point up the contrast and make it inescapably clear which is which. (Of course, this contrasts sharply with the treatment of religion in much contemporary fiction, where only hypocritical and abusive types are depicted, and deliberately misrepresented as the true face of Christianity.)

message 4: by Werner (new)

Werner This past Tuesday, I finished Scarlet. I found it a very worthy continuation of the trilogy: solid, morally-grounded historical fiction with characters you care about (or detest). If you're interested, my full review is at . Now, I'm waiting impatiently for the concluding volume, Tuck, to arrive via interlibrary loan!

message 5: by Werner (new)

Werner I finished Tuck yesterday (again, for those who may be interested, the link to my full review is: ). My reaction to this trilogy continues to be VERY favorable --in fact, I gave this concluding volume a full 5 stars (the others got four). Lawhead shows himself here to be as able a writer of historical fiction as of fantasy --in fact, I got into these novels more and enjoyed them even better than any of his fantasies that I've read so far!

message 6: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 62 comments Mod
I read the series about a year ago --- I remember that I finished the first two and then had a bit of a wait for the final installment so I am speaking a bit from memory.

Overall, I really enjoyed the series and also like the placement of the story in the Wales region. Having also started the first book in the Bernard Cromwell series around the same time, it really made historical sense to me. On this trilogy, I actually think that I like Tuck the least of the three books ---- I really felt like the end of the saga was a very anti-climatic. Everything got wrapped up with a nice bow in the last chapter (if I recall).

I guess that I'm the opposite of you in that I gave the first two books 5 stars and the last only 4. It's always nice to see other diverse opinions :-D I also think that I preferred the Song of Albion trilogy over this one.

message 7: by Jadi Cedonia (new)

Jadi Cedonia (jcverdin) I started reading his books when they were way above my reading level. When this came out, I found it easier to follow than the Song of Albion. But I was reading/re-reading Hood, right about the time I got to Song of Albion.

But all the books seem to tie in to me. The separate stories are mentioned in the other books.

message 8: by Adam (new)

Adam Collings (adamcollings) | 18 comments This trilogy is on my ToDo list. I saw it today at Koorong as a hard-cover with all three book for what seems like a pretty reasonable price. Maybe next pay day? :)

message 9: by Nüll (new)

Nüll (westmoure) | 6 comments Probably my Fav. of the trilogy...

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