Hood by Stephen Lawhead Review 2/5

Overall Impression: A dissapointing read.

3 long weeks ago, I went to visit the Library. Upon visiting I came across a book that looked rather good, a new take on the well-known story of Robin Hood.
Now today as I finish the last page of this book, I’m staring outside, watching the rain pummel my window and slowly dribble down the glass; and I’m thinking, this weather pretty much sums up this book; disappointing…

“When Brans Father is murdered by Norman soldiers, he flees to London, seeking justice. The journey is long and hard – and the suffering of those he meets along the way fuels his anger.
With his demands dismissed. Bran has no choice but to return home, where a worse fate awaits him. His lands have been confiscated and his people enslaved by a brutal and corrupt regime.
Should Bran flee or protect his people by surrendering to his fathers murderers? The answer, perhaps, is known only to King Raven – a creature of myth and magic born of the forests darkest shadows.”

I won’t describe the plot in more detail because the blurb above is pretty much it. There really isn’t any more to it. This book is what it says on the tin, a historical fantasy fiction book.
This book started off as so promising! I was immediately interested in the main character Bran (although I always secretly added Flakes to his name)  and I was thinking, excellent! I haven’t read a good epic book in ages. But after the first third of the book, it just went downhill. After an action filled start, it was suddenly like Lawhead ran out of juice, and the rest of the book consisted of the characters just sitting around dithering, and not really doing anything. But I held on, till the very end, not being the type to just put down a book, and also, I guess somewhere, a little part of me was hoping for a big swash-buckling ending to a less than average book. But it didn’t even have that! All that happened was that Bran Flakes…ahem, sorry. I mean Bran. Took Marian hostage to avoid a fight, and made a run for it.

It’s such a shame because Lawhead obviously put a lot of work into researching for this book, and he does put a different spin on this well-known story. But unfortunately; for me at least, it just didn’t work. However Lawhead is obviously a good writer, so I would consider trying a different series of his books, but I will not be continuing with this one.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to other readers, but if you’re still curious, I would suggest it for males or females, 16 upwards, who are fans of historic novels, and appriciace a good writer.

Writing Style: 4/5
Originality: 2/5
Entertainment: 1/5
Character Development: 2/5
Would I recommend this book? No

Overall: 2/5


4 thoughts on “Hood by Stephen Lawhead Review 2/5

  1. I read Hood a while ago, and while I was suprised at the very slow pace (especially the end!), I did enjoy it. If you’re interested, the second book, Scarlet, is from Will Scarlet’s point of view, and he’s a much more interesting and entertaining character.

    Lawhead’s older stuff (Pendragon Cycle, Song of Albion, etc) is so good, but I’ve been less than impressed with his newer stuff.

    • Thanks Redhead! This is really interesting to know! I agree, it just got slower as it went on, which is such a shame because he can obviously write well. I’m gunna go investigate these books on Amazon now 🙂 Which books would you say count as his newer stuff? x

      • hmmm, his newer stuff is his new The Bright Empire series, first book is The Skin Map and it’s been getting so-so reviews, also the Robin Hood stuff. If you’re shopping for Lawhead, see if you can find “The Paradise War”, it’s the first book in his Song of Albion trilogy, and one of my favorites. The dude can write, that’s for sure. . . just sometimes he sits on one thing for too long, like what happened in Hood.

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