Tuck (King Raven Trilogy) by Stephen R Lawhead
|Tuck (King Raven Trilogy) by Stephen R Lawhead|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A satifsying conclusion to a trilogy that transports Robin Hood to the Welsh borders in the years after William the Conqueror. The supernatural element from the first book has completely disappeared, but there's enough action to satisfy any fan of historical fantasy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: April 2009|
The struggle for Elfael reaches its conclusion in the third volume of Lawhead's Robin Hood trilogy. In this book, we see things through Friar Tuck's eyes. Bryn ap Brychan has been betrayed by the greedy William Rufus, who reneged on his promise to restore the Raven King's rightful throne to him, despite owing his life to the Welsh rebel. So it's back to the forest to regroup and plan again. But time is against the Grellon - Abbot Hugo is planning to bring men in force and to wipe out Bryn and his followers once and for all.
Tuck follows Bryn as he travels incognito throughout the north trying to drum up support, but perhaps in the end diplomacy and not war - as preached by this most unorthodox, staff-wielding clergyman - will provide the answers.
I'm quite sad to see this trilogy come to a close. I do love a bit of historical fantasy, and Lawhead's uprooting of the Robin Hood myth from Nottingham to the Welsh marches has been great fun to read. It began with quite a bit of magic, but the second and third volumes have eschewed the supernatural in favour of more complicated plotting as Bryn, the Robin figure, plays a cat-and-mouse game with his Norman overlords. I like this, but fans of the otherworldly should be warned.
Life in this time - both for the fortunate Norman lords and the dispossessed Grellon - rises vividly from the pages and the characters including the villains, are all multi-faceted. Of particular interest is the hold that faith has over everyone, not just the simple folk. Indeed, perhaps the prime mover for King William in Tuck is the need to buy penances for the men he has killed. The Marion figure, Merian, is perhaps a little anachronistic - I'm not sure that there were many feminists at the time, but this is just a little carp really. The Marion of legend is a strong character, very different from the women of her time, and Merian upholds the tradition.
Recommended to all fans of historical fantasy.
My thanks to the nice people at Atom for sending the book.
Fans of historical fantasy fiction will also enjoy Bloodline and Bloodline Rising by Katy Moran. We also liked The Parentations by Kate Mayfield. You might appreciate The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr but we had our reservations.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Tuck (King Raven Trilogy) by Stephen R Lawhead at Amazon.com.
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