REVIEW: Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead

FullSizeRender (80)Bran’s father the king has been killed and while he is heir to the throne, the invading Frenic have set up their own ruler of Elfael. Forced to run in order to survive Bran must decide whether he wants to continue running or stop and help his people take back what is rightfully theirs. All the while the legendary King Raven has returned and is haunting the woodlands.

Hood is a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood. Bran is this tales Robin and he is not the most likeable character to begin with. He’s never wanted to be King and all he wanted was to escape and leave the problems of Elfael behind. He doesn’t even really care for his people to start with. It’s Angharad, an old wise woman who knows the way of magic and healing who helps him find his path. Angharad is pretty awesome. She’s wise, mysterious and knows more than she should.

Hood is quite fun in a way as while many characters have different names you can soon figure out who they are from the Robin Hood mythology. For instance Iwan, a big, tall solider loyal to Bran is Little John, Tuck is a priest and while there are certainly bad guys it’s a bit harder to match them up with characters like the Sheriff of Nottingham. That makes the story interesting as while it does sort of follow the traditional Robin Hood legend, as it is set in Wales and follows the Norman invasion it offers a different spin on the tale so it’s definitely not predictable.

There are a lot of characters in Hood and sometimes it’s a little confusing with the Welsh or Old English names and some names for different characters are quite similar. Also it is a very descriptive book, which in this case I liked the writing so didn’t mind so much but sometimes it did get bogged down in description.

Hood is a beautiful retelling of the Robin Hood legend. On the most part you can tell who the characters are supposed to represent but that doesn’t spoil the story. I’ll definitely be continuing with this trilogy. 4/5.

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