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5.0 out of 5 starsA Farwell To Awld Friends
Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2017
Blood Of The Wolf is the author's fourth and final full length novel in the Forest Lord series and is perhaps McKay's crowning achievement in this adventure filled collection. The book begins with an ambience of confusion and identity crisis on Robin Hood's part as he struggles to come to terms with his role reversal from an outlawed Wolfs Head to bailiff for Sheriff de Faucumberg...collecting taxes and if unable to pay, kicking people out of their homes. Stalwart companions Friar Tuck and Little John assist in sorting out Robin's inner turmoil as they once again become pivotal players in Hood's new assignment from the Sherriff, bringing to justice an emerging group of wolf head's plaguing the region. Putting this group to rights will become the greatest challenge of Robin and crews new career. Steven McKay in previous installments of this series has always demonstrated admirable talent for creating the most loathsome, psychologically impaired bad guys imaginable. In Blood Of The Wolf, McKay surpasses even himself in breathing life into sociopath Philip Groves, the most malignant and vile of his characters to date. As has been noted in previous reviews of this series, McKay's Robin Hood bears little resemblance to the cardboard cut out of little substance as often portrayed by other authors. This Robin Hood is an "everyman", full of insecurities but also of love and loyalty to his friends, family and his vision of right and wrong. McKay's writing and ability to bring life to his characters in such a misty and historical setting is one of the major skills which has made me a fan of his literary efforts. Looking from my perspective, McKay has time and again proven to be a very consistent writer, no small feat in an ongoing creative process. He consistently provides good, solid storylines, consistent action and adventure, all delivered without sacrificing the essence of the story. Perhaps most importantly, his novels are consistently FUN to read. You know exactly what you are going to get in that regard which to me is the bottom line, because ultimately, isn't that what reading is all about? McKay brings the series to a satisfying, if bloody conclusion and to echo the words of the great Dr. River Song....."Spoilers Sweetie"! I highly recommend The Forest Lord series and the novellettes associated with it.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother great tale of the Wolfshead, Robin Hood. Try it, you'll like it.
Reviewed in the United States on October 18, 2016
Steven McKay has given me yet another great tour of his Robin Hood adventure in this his last (??? maybe we can talk him into more stories) book in the Wolfshead series (aka 'The Forest Lord' series) . By this time the characters have become my fine old friends and they have succeeded in transporting me back in time to join them in Dewsbury, England in the Summer of1326. This time, Mr. McKay places Robin on the other side of the law, shall we say the "right side" of the law. No longer a Wolfshead but now a roving bailiff for the local Lord, Robin joins with old friends to deal with a town possessed. These are characters that ring true to the times and come to life in a way that I am able to relate to as real people with real lives, not just characters of a myth or fairytale. Join them on this adventure. I am sure you will like the journey.
Great fourth and final book in the Forest Lord series. Like all the books in the series this one could stand on its own pretty easily. Many modern series require you to read the books in order, basically making it one large book that is broken up into a series, much like the original Dickens or Dumas stories of the 19th century. With the Forest Lord books you should of course read them as series because you get a much deeper insight into the characters, but the stories stand on their own. The author makes a good effort to provide the basic background from the previous books that you need to understand the current story. I look forward to Steven A. McKay's future endeavors.
A wonderful last book in the Forest Lord series. This book ties together many of the threads that seemed to disappear in the first three books. At the risk of getting an arrow in my chest I cannot reveal anymore about this book except you need to buy this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Fantastic "Forest Lord" Conclusion!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2020
This very impressive book is the 4th and final episode of the wonderful "Forest Lord" series, from the remarkable author, Steven A. McKay.
Historical details concerning this fascinating tale can be found at the end of the book, where they are very well documented and explained by the author.
Story-telling has again been of a superb quality, all characters, whether real historical or mythical fictional, come vividly to life within this marvellous historical tale.
The story begins in May, AD 1326, during the final months of the reign of King Edward II, with Robin Hood, and his great little friend, Little John, now both acting as lawmen for the Sheriff of Nottingham and Yorkshire, Sir Hugh de Faucumberg.
All the other former Outlaws, who are now pardoned, are all working for themselves or have been living in great poverty, when all of a sudden a new antagonist will come into the picture, and on his mind there's only murder and mayhem.
This new antagonist goes by the name of, Philip Groves, and he's the older brother of the former outlaw and turn traitor, Matt Groves, and this Philip Groves with his giant friend, Eoin, will try to raise an army of outlaws to bring murder and mayhem into Yorkshire, and thereby especially targeting Robin Hood for his personal revenge.
What is to follow is an action-packed and fast-paced legendary historical tale, where Robin Hood and Little John are united again with their former outlaws, Will Scaflock, Friar Tuck, Stephen the Hospitaller Sergeant-at-arms, James, Peter and Piers, and together they will embark on a perilous journey in an attempt to stop the threat of this insane murderer, Philip Groves, and so to bring finally peace to their lives and towards a definite surprising and fascinating twist.
Very much recommended, this is a great series, executed and brought to us by the author in his own legendary way, and finally what this splendid episode is concerned I like to call it: "A Fantastic "Forest Lord" Conclusion"!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2016
This is the fourth in a series by Steven A McKay and he has continued where he left off. For anyone who has not read any of the series, I have said before if you like Bernard Cornwell, Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and all the rest you will like Stevens work. I would suggest if you have not read any, go buy them all and read them in order. If you have read the others, I don't think you'll be wondering, you'll be buying it ! If thats not enough its barely the price of a coffee. Do you stand outside Starbucks or Costa wondering whether its worth going in to buy one ? Of course not, just do it. Once you start reading you'll find that Robin, now working for the Law is darker and not as likeable, as he has to do things like evicting people etc. He soons finds a new evil adversary and the plot moves on with some twists and turns and real violence. This is no Robin Hood, Men in Tights and no skinny wee guy who can shoot a bow. He is a proper archer with the musculature which is almost a deformity to go with it. He and his men are vulnerable and not invincible either. I don't want to spoil the plot or the story but just as Robin matures, so has Stevens writing and this is the darkest yet. Its also the most difficult as he has to pull it towards a credible ending when everyone already knows versions of the legendary story. That he achieves a really satisfying conclusion is down to Stevens maturing skill as a writer. I couldn't put it down and raced through the last few chapters and went through an emotional rollercoaster which was reminicent of finishing a Steven King book. I know someone else reviewed that he didn't like the ending and each to their own, but I did and when you mess about with a legend you run the risk of not pleasing folk but I personally think Steven had pulled it off brilliantly. He also manages to weave some of the legends into the story in an ingenious way. I love my coffee but for the price I've had a better journey with Stevens books and I'm looking forward to the next lot.
A rip roaring read from a master storyteller at the top of his game and a wonderfully fitting end to a great series..... as explained in the other books this is the story of Robin Hood told with a few differences, set in the 14th century rather than the 12th and with Robin a decidedly working class lad rather than disenfranchised upper class. This book finds Robin and John Little working on the right side of the law.....With Robin maybe a little too comfortable with the trappings of his new life if not with the lack of adventure or risk. But all is not well in the great woods of the north as they are plagued by a new band of outlaws led by a true psychopath with a grudge against Robin.....These are definitely not your 'rob from the rich give to the poor' types. Tasked by his new and unexpected friend Sir Henry De Faucumberg the sheriff of Nottingham Robin and his band must hunt down these outlaws and thus begins a game of cat and well cat......across Nottingham and Yorkshire. It was interesting to see Robin, Little John, Will and others, true hard men used to a hard life clash with a deranged, dangerously charismatic leader who just doesn't care who he hurts....... There are pulse pounding chases and bone crunching action scenes that leave you breathless, including one hell of a finish! All in all a wonderful story that truly evokes the spirit of Sherwood Forest and the men of Lincoln Green.
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant book, brilliant author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2016
Immediately you are drawn into this action packed story, the descriptive brilliance of McKay is appealing to lovers of historical fiction and the legends of this land. The opening chapters, show how Hood is struggling to cope with life as a free man again, living a somewhat humdrum existence, the reader can actually feel his angst ridden confusion about the man he should be. While we are willing him, to once more fight the good fight. And in the ensuing chapters we are taken, at breakneck speed, on an adventure so exciting, that is impossible to put this book down. Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, battle a town taken over by demons, they stand up against a group of outlaws that are relishing going along their villainous trail of terror, with a leader who has real bad intentions. They are barrelling headlong into a final battle that will test the mettle of the Forest Lord and his men. They are once again drawn into a conflict, with a vindictive arch enemy from their past. Join Robin Hood and his gritty, battle hardened men as they laugh, break heads, prove their loyalty and show what a brotherhood truly is. The first three books were brilliant, addictive stories, with amazing characters and storylines to match. Blood of the Wolf surpasses them and takes the legend of Robin Hood to a higher level.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat introduction to a wonderful hero
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2016
I have sat and read all four books back to back. Well I loved the series of books all the twists and turns. I have heard there is too much swearing making it not correct for the period. I say it is a bit of artistic license bringing the books into the 21st century. I personally thought there was another book or two in the series but think Steven has left the chance of a return. Dependant of your own view of the ending of the series. So if you want an easy to read series of books telling an age old story I urge you to try these books I read them all in just over a week. The characters are well rounded and interact well with each other. The adversaries have you on the edge of your seat, I do not want to go in depth as this would spoil the books for any body who has not read these wonderful books. Needless to say you have the evil Guy of Gisbourne brought to a new level of evilness. I found losing main characters early in the series was a shock but for me made it more real. I know my review is vague but I as many people hate spoilers. This series of books would make an excellent introduction into one of the greatest heroes of England a story that will be retold in different guises. So I would just like to say thank you Steven for a wonderful set of books and look forward to your next books.