King Raven Trilogy book review

King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead

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This review might be the harshest I have written. I poured hours into this long trilogy. I fell into a cycle of picking it up, putting it down when life got crazy, forgetting the storyline, starting the entire series over again to “refresh” my memory. A long cast of characters and drawn-out descriptive settings definitely took a toll on my reading speed. But, after finally persisting and completing all three books: the ending left me soured on the whole story. I’ll admit frustration and disappointment flavor my review of this retelling of Robin Hood myth.

** spoiler alert ** King Raven Trilogy: Hood, Scarlet, & Tuck.

I am not one to shy away from long descriptions, and I can appreciate a full-bodied fantasy story. (Heaven knows I over-share details in my own storytelling. The scenes are thoroughly described, almost to the point of being redundant. Characters’ names, language use, and locations were a bit hard to follow due to the unusual spellings. I understand the author was basing it on old Welsh, but it does slow the reader down to wade through Celtic spellings. Lastly, I found the death of the child, Nia, totally unnecessary. It did not further the story nor force a character’s growth. On the contrary, her death was not as grieved as Angharad’s. The focus of a mournful scene is split unequally with Nia’s parents and the protagonist. Emotionally, I wanted to grieve with Bran, but I couldn’t get past my shock and frustration of Nia’s demise.