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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 RavenAlong the way Friar Tuck has been the stalwart supporter of the man behind the legend bringing Rhi Bran much needed guidance, wit, and faithful companionshipAided 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 ElfaelThis 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 The conclusion to the King Raven trilogy is really no different to the other books of the trilogy The strong point, for me, the thing I found most interesting, was the new interpretation of how the Robin Hood story came about although I felt that the epilogue hammered that in maybe a little too much and not much else really grabbed me Again, the writing is pretty good and once I settled down to read it I sped through Tuck in a couple of hours If you want something easy to read and you l The conclusion to the King Raven trilogy is really no different to the other books of the trilogy The strong point, for me, the thing I found most interesting, was the new interpretation of how the Robin Hood story came about although I felt that the epilogue hammered that in maybe a little too much and not much else really grabbed me Again, the writing is pretty good and once I settled down to read it I sped through Tuck in a couple of hours If you want something easy to read and you like Robin Hood and you re not terribly threatened by a Welsh Robin, then this is definitely worth picking up Lawhead s writing doesn t really come alive for me here, but nor is it terribly written Beyond a couple of lines that made me cringe, anyway.The story is pretty much the traditional Robin Hood, just a bit embroidered with details about Welsh conflicts, Welsh lords, Welsh places as a travelling bard would have told sung it if he made his way to Wales, I suppose If Lawhead intended this to be an entirely realistic story he should have departed further from the legends, because the things Robin gets away with are unbelievable Which is, I suppose, some of the attraction about Robin.The characters still fall relatively flat for me I didn t feel any particular grief for the deaths, or gladness for the triumphs which is odd, considering that these are my people triumphing For once There was something very appealing about seeing the Welsh win the day, but I much prefer it when books make my heart twinge a little, and I didn t get any of that here.Still, it s a good conclusion to the trilogy, and I m glad I read it Definitely the best book of the trilogy.I admit the trilogy was a bit hard to read at times, I am not a complete fan of Lawhead s writing style, like Ken Follett, it can be a bit long winded at times and get to be dry reading, but the story itself, the meat of it, the research and history infused into the classic tale, that s what kept me reading And Lawhead, like Follett and the Pillars books, does it well, from the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the books to his author notes where so Definitely the best book of the trilogy.I admit the trilogy was a bit hard to read at times, I am not a complete fan of Lawhead s writing style, like Ken Follett, it can be a bit long winded at times and get to be dry reading, but the story itself, the meat of it, the research and history infused into the classic tale, that s what kept me reading And Lawhead, like Follett and the Pillars books, does it well, from the pronunciation guide at the beginning of the books to his author notes where some of the history behind his bringing this Robin Hood trilogy to be set in the Welsh lands comes out, you can tell the man did his homework and I am thankful for it.But one of the best things about this trilogy to me is the main character of each story, from Rhi Bran to Scatlocke to Aethelfrith It wasn t exactly like a story told from their perspective, but it focused on their perspectivethen the rest of the Merry Men or Grellon My favorite touch of this third book that Lawhead adds is poetry Tuck is broken up into 5 parts and each section begins with a very interesting catchy poem that, as your reading, continues a story that parallels the trilogy almost The poem itself seems written in Middle English or is similar to it, and to me I kept wondering, who wrote this poem Is it an actual early poem song about Robin Hood or did Lawhead write it It definitely didn t sound Lawhead esque It rhymed and was lyrical and really made the storyentertaining, and once you reach the end you realize it also foreshadowed the epilogue.When reading or watching anything related to Robin Hood I oftentimes find myself searching for THE memorable characters that crossover from one to the next, the Little John s, Merian, Friar Tuck, etc In this series after the first two books I was thinking to myself, shucks, I guess Alan a Dale isn t going to make an appearance in these stories then BAM Out of nowhere he shows up, I have to admit it took me by surprise and I got a little giddy, he is a remarkable character and Lawhead did a beautiful job of writing him.All in all Lawhead has added his unique perspective and twist on my favorite legend, that of Robin Hood After reading the entire trilogy, I m very glad to have read the historical gems he adds at the end, breaking down how revolutionary and deadly the longbow was at the time especially when weilded by the Welsh I can t imagine the story without it The epilogue was also great, you have the trilogy, the meat of the legend and how it was created, and then the epilogue is how that legend lives on Through Thomas a Dale, traveling bard and songster, grandson of Alan a Dale, the story travels to Nottingham and Sherwood Forest so long as the singer took care to adapt it to his listeners dropping in names of the local worthies, the places nearby that local folk knew, any particular features of the countryside and its people it all helped to create a sense of instant recognition for those he entertained, and flattered his patrons Stephen Lawhead, Tuck, p 432.Beautifully done, we see one adaptation among many that a minstrel plays, playing to the crowd, adjusting the story so the nobles would like it, but this is the one we recognize the most and can therefore finally connect to Lawhead s Rhi Bran y Hud, Bran ap Brychan, Robin Hood Tuck is the third and final installment in the King Raven story The first book Hood was a solid 4 stars the second book Scarlet was bit better, perhaps 4 1 4 stars Tuck was a well deserved 4.5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the entire King Raven series it s a nice treat when a series improves as it goes along Lawhead is a gifted storyteller who weaves the tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men into its own wondrous legend of adventure, heartbreak, passion, and determination within the early Wels Tuck is the third and final installment in the King Raven story The first book Hood was a solid 4 stars the second book Scarlet was bit better, perhaps 4 1 4 stars Tuck was a well deserved 4.5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the entire King Raven series it s a nice treat when a series improves as it goes along Lawhead is a gifted storyteller who weaves the tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men into its own wondrous legend of adventure, heartbreak, passion, and determination within the early Welsh culture It is truly a memorable work With this volume, Lawhead brings his King Raven trilogy to a rousing conclusion The general comments I made on the first two books apply here, too but the emotional impact of this book nudged it into five star territory This is outstanding fiction of its type a worthy capstone to a thoroughly excellent series Lawhead has done himself proud here.In all three books of the series, Bran ap Brychan Rhi Bran y Hud is the central figure, the linchpin of the story But as we saw much of Scarle With this volume, Lawhead brings his King Raven trilogy to a rousing conclusion The general comments I made on the first two books apply here, too but the emotional impact of this book nudged it into five star territory This is outstanding fiction of its type a worthy capstone to a thoroughly excellent series Lawhead has done himself proud here.In all three books of the series, Bran ap Brychan Rhi Bran y Hud is the central figure, the linchpin of the story But as we saw much of Scarlett through Will Scarlet s eyes and he plays a key role in the plot, so here, our good heartened and rotund title character often gives us our viewpoint, and plays a crucial role in the denouement The author breathes new life into the familiar figures of all these characters of the legends, andincluding Maid Merian he s also done his historical homework, to bring us a number of real historical personages made flesh under his pen King William Rufus who actually did lead his army into Wales is an obvious example but Baron Bernard Neufmarche who really did rule in Hereford, and expand his territory into Wales , William s justicar and adviser Cardinal Ranulf Flambard, and the northern Welsh king Gruffyd also step from the pages of dry history into vivid fictional life in these books The interspersed folk ballads about Rhyban Hud in the text and the epilogue are Lawhead s own compositions, but they clearly reflect a good knowledge of the actual ballad tradition and how it was created and transmitted And though I went into the reading of the trilogy convinced that no one could ever really know when Robin Hood lived if indeed he did , I came away convinced that Lawhead s Welsh theory is actually the right one.All the satisfactions of the best action oriented historical fiction are here an exciting, fast moving story with genuine danger and suspense, told in accessible prose strong characters that you connect to emotionally, clean romance, moral and spiritual sensibility and a clear sense of social justice, basic historical accuracy and well integrated period detail, and a vivid sense of time and place It does not exaggerate to call this trilogy a work in the tradition of Ivanhoe if Sir Walter Scott were still alive, the publisher could probably have gotten him to pen some praise to quote on the book jacket