Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A "Really Good" book review: Scarlet

*sigh*

I have finished Scarlet.

One test of whether or not a given title is deemed "Really Good," in my humble opinion, is how the story lingers even after the last page has been turned. For example, I was at the church today with my friend stuffing VBS flyers into bags, and I found myself wanting to talk about Will and Bran, two of the novel's main characters, forgetting that she would have no idea who I was talking about. Plus, she would no doubt think me stranger than she already does!

Stephen Lawhead's Scarlet is a "Really Good" book. Of course, it seems like it's been a long time since I've stumbled upon a "Really Good" read, so maybe it is something like hunger being the best seasoning. Maybe I was just ready to read something and enjoy it.

But I don't think so. I think it was just "Really Good." Hood, the novel's predessor in the series, was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Scarlet, I think I enjoyed even more. The novels are a retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, the Prince of Thieves, yet with a twist. Here the tale finds its home in medieval Wales whose countrymen are suffering the destruction and devastation of their lands in the wake of the Norman invasion.

The story of Scarlet is told mostly through Will's voice as he is in prison relating the story of his exploits as one of the legendary King Raven's companions. Battle scenes, political intrigue, ancient legend, and a love story--it's all here. I know little or nothing of Robin Hood lore, save that of the Disney movie, but it makes for a fascinating set of novels. I cannot wait for the third installation of the trilogy!

Intrigued? Read an excerpt here.

10 comments:

  1. You've whetted my appetite. I have got to read these books! I remember feeling the same way you're describing when I read Stephen Lawhead's King Arthur books, too. In fact, when I finished the second book, and realized my local library branch did not have the next one on the shelf, I found myself racing to the downtown branch with minutes to spare before closing time to check it out because I just couldn't wait. So, thanks for the review!

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  2. You've got me excited now Lisa!!

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  3. At first I thought you were writing about the Gone with The Wind sequel and had an eyebrow raised. LOL. I borrowed Hood from the library and started to read it and was loving it, but had not enough free time to finish it. I will have to do so some day and its sequel.

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  4. Whew. I'm glad I'm not the only one that does that with books. (Wants to talk about the characters and forgets that nobody knows who they are.)

    Sorta like wanting to bring up my blog friends when I'm at church. . . . LOL

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  5. When you wrote about Hood I checked on the series and saw it wasn't finished. I have this quirk about refusing to start a series that isn't finished, because I like to read them all through. So on your recommendation I checked at my used bookstore and they had another (much older) series by Lawhead. The Pendragon Series which is about Merlin & Arthur. I just finished the second book Merlin. Have you read it or anything else by that author? I would be interested to see how you thought they compared.

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  6. I love Tilogies! Thanks for the great review! I also thought you might have meant the Gone with the Wind sequel...I had read that one many years ago!

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  7. Thanks for the review, Lisa! This book is sitting on our bookshelf. My husband read it and loved it... I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

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  8. Thanks for being my "faithful poster." :-)
    I am very flustered trying to learn bloggy things. The whole process of downloading and moving photos is just about to get the best of me!

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  9. I agree with what makes a "really good book." Have you read the Thirteenth Tale? In it the heroine, an absolutely rabid booklover, talks about being in sort of a haze when you finish a book. I've been there.

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  10. Now see, I can't read this series until the third book is finished and if, at the end of that book, there's ANY hint of another - I can't read them until THAT book is complete.

    When I really like a book, I devour it and I HATE waiting for the next installment. I'm a wimp. I know.

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