THE KING RAVEN TRILOGY
A revolutionary new expression of the Robin Hood myth, taking the tale out of Sherwood and back to where the story actually began: the primeval forests of Wales. Set the age of the conquest of Britain, this epic follows the fortunes of the British who were being displaced en masse by the Norman invaders following the events of 1066. Bran is a young Welsh noble whose land gets given to an earl loyal to the new ruler, forcing him to flee into the woods and mount a guerrilla resistance force. This series drew attention within scholarly circles for how well the legend of Robin Hood fit into this novel setting. (Residents of modern-day Nottingham were a little less pleased, however.)
Robin Hood: The Legend Begins Anew
For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.
Hunted like an animal by Norman invaders, Bran ap Brychan, heir to the throne of Elfael, has abandoned his father's kingdom and fled to the greenwood. There, in a primeval forest of the Welsh borders, danger surrounds him--for this woodland is a living, breathing entity with mysterious powers and secrets, and Bran must find a way to make it his own if he is to survive.
Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Stephen R. Lawhead conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare yourself for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.
*Starred Review* The first in a trilogy called King Raven, Hood tells the story of an alternative Robin Hood, a rebel in the deep forests of Wales in 1093. (Lawhead's extensive research convinced him of this premise.) Son of a king, a young man named Bran is made homeless when his father is killed and the kingdom of Elfael becomes a pawn to squabbling Norman factions. A long and fascinating time in the wilderness, in which Bran's faith and health are restored by an old woman of mystical origins, brings him at last to his destiny: leading a band of dauntless archers against the kingdom's usurpers. Robin Hood is born, along with Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and Little John, in this highly imaginative, earthy adventure that has little to do with Errol Flynn but is just as rousing. John Mort
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From Publishers Weekly
Lawhead (Byzantium), known for his historical and fantasy fiction, reimagines the tale of Robin Hood in his latest novel, the first in the King Raven Trilogy. Based on detailed research, Lawhead places the folk hero (whom he names Bran) in Wales in 1093, at a time when the land was under constant assault from the new Norman rulers of England. When Bran's father, the king, is killed in an ambush along with nearly all his warriors, the land of Elfael is overtaken and its citizens subjected to great oppression. Though Bran should be king, he has lost faith (in both himself and whatever God he once knew) and decides to flee instead. Through agony and adventure, aided by a ragtag group of colorful characters, his sense of justice grows, along with his commitment to leading the people of Elfael and his creative strategies for dealing with the enemy. Lawhead examines questions of faith from both sides of the conflict, so readers see Welsh monks praying for deliverance and Norman rulers asserting their divine right to the land. The story's tone is uneven—by turns sweet, violent, and funny—and it gets a bit bogged down in the middle, but overall it's a fun read that will leave readers anxious for the next installment.
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After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest--and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion--Will joins the heroic archer and his men.
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.
That, of course, he will never do.
Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught. From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.
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. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.
"Pray God our aim is true and each arrow finds its mark."
King Raven has brought hope to the oppressed people of Wales--and fear to their Norman overlords. Deceived by the self-serving King William and hunted by the treacherous Abbot Hugo and Sheriff de Glanville, Rhi Bran is forced again to take matters into his own hands as King Raven.
Along the way Friar Tuck has been the stalwart supporter of the man behind the legend--bringing Rhi Bran much-needed guidance, wit, and faithful companionship.
Aided by Tuck and his small but determined band of forest-dwelling outlaws, Rhi Bran ignites a rebellion that spreads through the Welsh valleys, forcing the wily monarch to marshal his army and march against little Elfael.
This epic trilogy dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood as Stephen R. Lawhead conjures an ancient past while holding a mirror to contemporary realities. Filled with unforgettable characters, breathtaking suspense, and rousing battle scenes, Stephen R. Lawhead's masterful retelling of the Robin Hood legend reaches its stunning conclusion in Tuck.