Review of the the Trilogy (thus far)
Steve Lawhead’s book Scarlet is the latest book in the The King Raven Trilogy which began with Hood and will end with Tuck, due out in 2009.
I loved Hood which is loosely based on the tale of Robin Hood. This story includes historical notes to increase the feeling of accuracy of the tale. The way that Lawhead switches between the first and third person in the narrative is done smoothly and is very effective. His descriptions are vivid and both novels are complex and interesting.
With Scarlet, I would have appreciated more background details for some of the secondary characters as the assumption is made that the reader has followed this trilogy in order and has read Hood recently enough to remember all of its nuances. Certain characters who come up later in Scarlet are not fleshed out completely, again probably due to an understanding that the reader has already finished the first novel. I highly enjoyed this second tale with William Shatlocke (Will Scarlet) as narrator from his prison. Events taking place outside of his prison are told in sequence. The book would have been improved by a hierarchical cast of characters in the series to help keep track of all the characters. Scarlet contains lots of humorous twists, some commentary on human frailty and an understanding of the political shenanigans going on at the time and place in which the tale is set. I look forward to Tuck in 2009.
See Whether the Library’s Copies of Hood and Scarlet Are Available
Review by Kim Morin, reference librarian at Bentley College Library