Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging - unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.
Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead's riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Lawhead's trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities.
©2007 Stephen R. Lawhead; (P)2007 Oasis Audio
I love Jesus, dogs, cowboys, and a good mystery book
This story is very engaging and a fun listen. The narrator does an amazing job! He is good at changing his voice for each character and keeps it interesting.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Scarlet, the second book in Stephen Lawhead‘s King Raven Trilogy focuses on Will Scatlocke (“Scarlet”), a disillusioned forester who goes searching for, finds, and joins King Raven’s infamous band of thieves. During one of their exploits, Will is caught, sentenced to hang, and thrown into prison where he is asked to tell his story to a priest in hopes that he’ll let slip some information that will help sheriff Guy of Gysborne find and defeat the robbers. Thus, most of the story is told in past tense from Will Scarlet’s perspective.
Even though the pace is slower than in Hood and we’re not much concerned that Will might actually hang, Lawhead still spins us a fine yarn — the story is thoroughly entertaining. And, as usual, we are not just entertained, but enlightened as we get a real feel for the period — the tyranny of the Freinc, the corruption of the Church, the suffering and stubbornness of the Britons. This is what Stephen Lawhead does so well.
The characterization is mostly well done. The male characters are all three-dimensional, life-like, and immediately likeable. However, the female characters, most notably Merian and Will’s love-interest, Noin, remain flat (I have noticed this lack of attention to female characters in some of Lawhead’s previous books). These were strong women whose presence was important to the plot, but whose personalities and motivations were never explored.
For example, Bran kidnapped Merian at the end of Hood, and in this sequel she is at his side. Will relates a few observations about their relationship, but we are never sure exactly what that relationship is and whether or not Merian wants to be there or not. I’m sure that Lawhead’s intention was to leave this vague, but I found it frustrating (especially since I wondered if Merian knew, or cared, that her family thought she was dead) and wished for a chapter or two from Bran and/or Merian’s perspective. Likewise, I wasn’t completely convinced about Will and Noin’s relationship because I wasn’t told anything from Noin’s perspective.
Again, I listened to this installment in
audiobook format. It was the same reader (Adam Verner) who did Hood and I have the same comments: he’s got a pleasant and enthusiastic tone, but some of his accents and character voices made me chuckle. If you can listen past that, it’s a good format.
Yes. It was entertaining.
There was some evidence and reason behind the author's choice to place the story in Whales rather than Sherwood Forest. I enjoyed learning a bit of history within the context of an entertaining audiobook.
Yes. I listened to Hood and his performance have been consistently good.
Hood: Part 2
I good and interesting take on a lifelong favourite. Part 2 of a good trilogy.
This was the best of this trilogy...which actually isn't saying much. But I enjoyed the world through the eyes of Will Scarlet as he waits to hang and tells his tale. I just wish the author had spent more time on Will Scarlet's present than the constant flashbacks.
Yes! The story and narration work very well together, and although there wouldn’t be much suspense the second time through, I’d listen again.
Lawhead continues the story from “King Raven” well, but with a twist, by changing the point of view to Will Scarlet’s first-person perspective. This was a great way to see Bran and his followers through another (yet sympathetic) character’s eyes.
Verner reads with energy and expressiveness that really bring the characters to life, especially when he’s speaking in the first person as Will Scarlet to Odo.
I really liked the first book, but this one worried me a little at the beginning. I am glad I stuck with it, as in many ways I thought it was a much better book than the first. It moves the Robin Hood/ Rhi Bran y Hud story ahead, and you meet a lot of the classic characters that you missed in the first book such as Will Scarlet from the title. With the help of his people, Ol’ Bran finally started becoming the man we all want him to be.
I found this setting and context for the Robin Hood story compelling. This second of the trilogy stars Will Scarlet narrating his own experiences with the Raven King. The story draws us deeper into the landscape and culture of the 11th century. This is its strength. The series attempts to reorient the fairy tale back to its roots resulting in a much more human, earthy and compelling telling of the Robin, Maid Marian, Little John, Will Scarlet and Frier Tuck. Unfortunately, the character of Will Scarlet is so smarmy and ego centric that the tail is almost ruined. I struggled to tell if this was a function of the writing (the character often refers to himself in the third person) or the performance and concluded the later. Adam Verner's rendition of the character was so sticky sweet it left my stomach aching. The story kept me listening and I will likely get the third book and complete the series. However, I wish I had read this book rather than listened to it as I would have enjoyed it more.
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