About the book:
After losing everything he owns, forester Will Scarlet embarks on a search for none other than King Raven, whose exploits have already become legendary. After fulfilling his quest--and proving himself a skilled and loyal companion--Will joins the heroic archer and his men.

Now, however, Will is in prison for a crime he did not commit. His sentence is death by hanging--unless he delivers King Raven and his band of cohorts.
That, of course, he will never do.

Wales is slowly falling under the control of the invading Normans, and King William the Red has given his ruthless barons control of the land. In desperation, the people turn to King Raven and his men for justice and survival in the face of the ever-growing onslaught.

From deep in the forest they form a daring plan for deliverance, knowing that failure means death for them all.

Scarlet continues Stephen R. Lawhead's riveting saga that began with the novel Hood, which relocated the legend of Robin Hood to the Welsh countryside and its dark forests. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medival Britain, Lawhead's trilogy conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.

Scarlet is the second in the King Raven trilogy about Robin Hood. The story picks up where Hood leaves off, with Will Scarlet being kept prisoner by Count de Braose. Will is in prison for alleged treason to the crown, and will be hung, unless he tells the count where to find King Raven. While in prison, Will is narrating his story to a young monk named Odo, so parts of the story are from Will's first person perspective and others are a third person narrative. The dual narratives work here. Will starts his narration with how he came to join Bran ap Brychan's rebel group. Disillusioned with his life as a forester, he seeks out the legendary King Raven's band of outlaws.

As Will becomes an integral part of the Cel Craidd community, he finds love with Noin, a relative newcomer herself. Merian has also remained with Bran, rather than returning to her father. Bran is as committed as ever to defeating the Norman invaders and reclaiming his throne and kingdom.

Scarlet shows us more of the political intrigue and maneuverings of the day. Political lying, deceit and self-preservation were just as much in effect then, as they are today. The King of England proves himself just as dishonest and capable of deceit as one would expect.

This isn't a stand-alone book. You need to read the first one, Hood, to really understand the story.

At once, engaging and entertaining. An easy read and one that will keep you captivated until the end.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 2/09

* * *

3/5 Stars