Thursday, April 19, 2007

Book Review: Hood


Hood (496 pages) is a historical piece of fiction by one of my favorite authors, Stephen Lawhead, the first volume in the new "King Raven Trilogy." At first glance it appears to be just another retelling of the classic Robin Hood tale, but Lawhead has changed things up. Instead of the 12 century, England, Hood's setting is 1093 AD in Wales. King Brychan ap Tewdwr and his war band have been slaughtered by the hated Norman invaders and his kingdom take away. Of the royal family only the king's worthless son Bran has been left alive. The prince has been following his own pursuits and not the duties of his responsibilities. What is he to do?

I really enjoyed the themes that were developed in the book, especially those of justice and responsibility. Hood is the tale of a self centered young man who must make some serious choices that effect not only his life but the lives of those who come to depend on him for their very existence. Faith is woven into the story in a way that is natural. Most of the time, while reading the book I was unaware that I was reading the classic tale of Robin Hood as the plot/intrigues were so unique and the characters so well developed. Though not quite as good as his classic Byzantium, this is easily Lawhead's best work in several years. I highly recommend it, 4.3 ninja stars out of 5.

5 comments:

Rayna said...

I found it not as good as some of Lawhead's other ones. I got started on his Pendragon series and it seems like since them a lot of his books are similar. Byzantium was one of my favorites as well.

Mark said...

Rayna: Thanks for you impressions. Yes, Lawhead does write similarly in most of his books. Patrick was the only book of his that I didn't really like very much. Good news though, the 2nd book in the King Raven series has just been announced! Check it out at stephenlawhead.com . . .

Anonymous said...

Hey Ninja,
Still hooked on Hood eh? Somethings never change. It's good to read that your family is happy and well.

We are doing really well - hoping to travel to get our little Ethiopian princess this summer. I am grateful that she is healthy and growing.

Wish you well,

The real Hood AKA Barbie

Anonymous said...

Hey Ninja,
Still hooked on Hood eh? Somethings never change. It's good to read that your family is happy and well.

We are doing really well - hoping to travel to get our little Ethiopian princess this summer. I am grateful that she is healthy and growing.

Wish you well,

The real Hood AKA Barbie

Mark said...

Barbie (AKA Tara): Nice to hear from you! You know I still have the picture of our archery competition where you, Donavan, Wes, and I are all standing in front of the target after the competition. Of course, as you recall, I won and so was bestowed the name Robin Hood which stuck with me. You of course, did not win, and thus Barbie you were known as. I have not actually used a bow in a long time, but I'm sure that I could still beat you! As for your Ethiopian princess, may all go well with getting her. Take care!
-Mark