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7 Feb 2013

Book Review: Hood by Stephen R Lawhead

Robin Hood

The Legend Begins Anew

For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting.

Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Stephen R. Lawhead's latest work conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare yourself for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.

I'm so disappointed with this book. 

I love legends like Robin Hood and Arthur Pendragon and I especially love retellings.  This book sounded amazing in concept.  English folklore plus a touch of the fantastical seemed like my cup of tea, especially when it promised to show the rise and origins of Robin Hood. 

I started off interested.  The Normans had invaded and the Welsh were being mistreated as a result.  We are introduced to Bran, an arrogant play boy, who is to become the legendary Robin Hood.  Quite Tony Stark/Bruce Wayne in a way.  A man with many flaws starts to see the injustice and mistreatment around him and works his way to becoming a figure who can do something about it.  I'm a sucker for that type of hero.  It's always good character development.  I was even excited to see the characters who were also on their way to becoming Friar Tuck and Little John.  The trio was formed instantly and I thought that this was the start of Robin.

I was just over 200 pages in when I finally put the book down and decided not to continue.  Two hundred pages in and Bran was still nowhere near to becoming Robin Hood.  He was still injured and healing.  The chapters focusing on the Normans didn't help either because that just interrupted the flow of Bran's story for me which is where I felt the focus should have been all the way.  It made his journey slower and I was just losing interest in the tale.  It was still going to take to some time for him to be the hero I was waiting for.  I felt that Lawhead was dragging the story, also trying to work too much on setting up the backstory and events of the Norman invasion. 

So no rating for this one since I didn't finish.


  1. How sad! I had seen this book recommended and thought it might be interesting. I might still pick it up sometime to see for myself (just because you didn't like it, doesn't mean I won't), but I can't say it's high on my TBR pile now.

  2. If you go on goodreads there are quite a lot of good reviews. A lot of people have still enjoyed it so I would encourage everyone to still give it a try. Not finishing was due to my personal taste in plot pace which might be someone else's cup of tea. :) I'd say go for it!