Book Review: Hood (The King Raven Trilogy, Book 1) by Stephen R. Lawhead

I have been a fan of Stephen Lawheads books ever since reading The Dragon King Trilogy as a kid, and his novels keep getting better and better with time. When you read a Lawhead book you can expect an imaginative tale steeped deep in history, his personal study of the history surrounding the time in which he places the book. In the Pendragon Cycle, for example, Lawhead paints a very realistic portrait of King Arthur.

With that in mind, Hood does not disappoint. Hood is Lawhead’s reimaging of the story of Robin Hood. Based on his study of the history, he places Robin Hood in Wales, not Sherwood Forest. There is a section at the back of the book that explains this decision. This change really works, though, making it feel like you are reading about a person who really lived.

Lawhead’s Robin Hood is Bran, a reluctant prince who would rather be out the ladies than at the castle being a prince. When his father is killed and land taken by the Norman invaders, Bran’s natural reaction is to just run away to his relatives. This book tells the story of him figuring out what it is he is supposed to do. It’s a story with a deep faith, and very colorful characters.

The story drags a little bit in the center, but picks up in the end leaving you wanting to immediately rush out and buy the second book in the series, Scarlett.

I think this is going to be another great Lawhead series, and I highly recommend the book.