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Author: Stephen R. Lawhead
Publisher: West Bow, A Division Of Thomas Nelson Publishing
Pages: 473

Why do you fear to go into the wood my little one. Is it because of the phantom? Well, fear not for he is Rhi Bran the Hud, King Raven. Only those whose hearts are dark should fear the phantom of the wood.

The year is 1093 AD and the Norman invaders of England have set their eyes west toward Wales. King Brychan ap Tewdwr and his war band have been slaughtered by the hated invaders. Of the royal family only the king's worthless son Bran ap Brychan has been left alive. The prince has been following his own pursuits and not the duties of his responsibilities. Thus on this fateful day he is the sole survivor of a great Welch royal family. What is he to do?

In the story of Hood we find 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. Some of his decisions are dreadfully wrong and we watch as he and those in his ever growing company pay the price for these choices. Yet Hood is also the tale of a young man who through harsh circumstances comes of age and we see him becoming a great leader. Hood the first volume in the new "King Raven Trilogy" by Stephen R. Lawhead is the tale of the young prince who would one day grow into the hero that became known as Robin Hood. We are during the course of this tale introduced to a familiar cast of characters such as Little John, Friar Tuck and of course Maid Merian. 

Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking that you already know this tale. Mr. Lawhead is a master storyteller and once again he puts a new twist on an old tale. The first tales of Robin Hood began to appear in about 1260 AD, yet Lawhead takes us back even further, to the events that formed these familiar tales of adventure and gallantry. And what a tale it is that he has weaved for us, adventure, intrigue, romance, betrayal, all the elements of a classic tale are present. For the past 24 years Stephen R.Lawhead has released tale after tale of great literature, whether it be sci-fi., fantasy or historical fiction. If this, the first volume of the "King Raven Trilogy" is any indication of what lies ahead for us in the next few years, then we may very well be reading the beginnings of his greatest work yet. Mr. Lawhead, I bow down before the feet of a master in his craft.

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock



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