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5 Stars Out Of 5
November 5, 2010
This is the second book in Lawhead's "King Raven Trilogy." I must say, it is one of the most unique books I have ever read! The author jumps seamlessy between writing in first person (from the viewpoint of Will Scarlet, who is relating his tale in prison) and writing in third person (the events going on outside the prison). It was a most enjoyable way to read a story. It also helped to bear along the interest in the series - since the second book in a continuing trilogy is usually the least engaging.
The characters that Lawhead creates are so real and personable... He has the extraordinary gift of giving each character a complete and consistent personality. Tuck is always positive, Bran is hot-tempered - and the male and female genders are distinguished in quite realistic ways (as far as personalities go). This gives the reader the illusion that they really know the characters.
The fight scenes are masterfully composed and electrified with suspense. (The violence is described, but in very discreet ways). The villains are evil and ruthless - but no so much that they do not seem human. As with the other two books in the series, there are some archaic words used that some people would now consider to be swear words...
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars! By the way, even though this is book 2 in the trilogy, there is enough background given that you can read this book by itself and follow the story easily. (But why would you skip "Hood", which was also excellent?)
Will Scarlet is in prison and dictating his story to a monk who seeks to discover information on Rhi Bran y Hud for his master Abbot Hugo. Through Will's memory we learn the latest news of Prince Brans exploits. He and his men have become experts at stealing from the rich and giving back to the poor people of Elfael. Will Scarlet tells how he found Prince Bran and joined up with him. As always, Prince Brans only goal is to take care of his people and get his land back.<br /><br />As Will retells his story to the monk, he becomes aware of a conspiracy that threatens King William the Reds throne. If he can get word to Prince Bran, there might be a way to save King Williams reign and get Elfael back. But Will is sentenced to be hung soon. How can a dead man get a message to anyone?<br /><br />I enjoyed Scarlet very much. The second book was a much better read than the first. It did have a long take from the old woman, but it wasnt as frustrating as it was in the first book. I also liked the way this book was written from Wills perspective in prison. Will is a wonderful character with a unique voice. Lawhead switches point of view characters often, but to have the tale from Will was refreshingly consistent. I highly recommend this second book. It could be enjoyed without having read the first one.