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Tuck (King Raven, Book 3) by Stephen R.…
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Tuck (King Raven, Book 3) (original 2009; edition 2008)

by Stephen R. Lawhead

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5071720,055 (3.98)22
Member:deep220
Title:Tuck (King Raven, Book 3)
Authors:Stephen R. Lawhead
Info:ATOM (2008), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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Tags:science fiction, TBR

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Tuck by Stephen R. Lawhead (2009)

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Part three of the King Raven series does not disappoint. The idea that much of the tale of Robin Hood has been changed by virtue of the way stories evolved at the time, is brought forward. This concludes the tale as Rhi Bran, fighting a war with cunning and skill, wins back his rightful throne. ( )
  creighley | Oct 14, 2013 |
The conclusion to the King Raven trilogy is really no different to the other books of the trilogy. The strong point, for me, the thing I found most interesting, was the new interpretation of how the Robin Hood story came about -- although I felt that the epilogue hammered that in maybe a little too much -- and not much else really grabbed me. Again, the writing is pretty good and once I settled down to read it I sped through Tuck in a couple of hours. If you want something easy to read and you like Robin Hood and you're not terribly threatened by a Welsh Robin, then this is definitely worth picking up. Lawhead's writing doesn't really come alive for me here, but nor is it terribly written. Beyond a couple of lines that made me cringe, anyway.

The story is pretty much the traditional Robin Hood, just a bit embroidered with details about Welsh conflicts, Welsh lords, Welsh places (as a travelling bard would have told/sung it if he made his way to Wales, I suppose!). If Lawhead intended this to be an entirely realistic story he should have departed further from the legends, because the things Robin gets away with are unbelievable. Which is, I suppose, some of the attraction about Robin.

The characters still fall relatively flat for me. I didn't feel any particular grief for the deaths, or gladness for the triumphs -- which is odd, considering that these are my people triumphing! For once. There was something very appealing about seeing the Welsh win the day, but... I much prefer it when books make my heart twinge a little, and I didn't get any of that here.

Still, it's a good conclusion to the trilogy, and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Tuck was a lackluster end to a lackluster series. It had the problems of its predecessors (flat characters, inconsistent viewpoints, glacial pacing) and nothing new to add. There's really none of the gleeful mischief of the legend of Robin Hood - none of the sense of fighting because it's the right thing. It's all aimed at the ultimate goal of getting official recognition of the kingship of the cantref, and that just isn't particularly satisfying, given the cost.

Overall, I find the whole King Raven cycle a terribly disappointment. There was clearly a ton of potential here, and it was squandered. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Tuck by Stephen Lawhead - Book Recommendation by Liam Jepson
The book, Tuck, is the third book in a three-part series called the King Raven Trilogy. This series is written by Stephen R. Lawhead, and is a Welsh version of the traditional story of Robin Hood. Unlike most other Alternate history books, which focus on dystopias and war, this one is based much more closely to what we know, the traditional story of Robin Hood, making it much more believable. This whole series is based on the Norman invasion of Wales. But unlike the previous two books, this book is much more of a ‘comeback’ book for the Welsh, and shows the hardy resilience of the Welsh people.
This book focuses on ideas of the repression of the Welsh people and their culture by the Norman invaders. Throughout the book, by the cruel hand of King Rufus William, Rhi Bran has his kingdom of Elfael taken away from him. At this point, he is relegated to the forest and his people called the Grellon, where they scrape for a living. This book is very successful in exploring this idea, as because it is a story that we know well, we can relate to it more easily, and Lawhead writes this book very well. Instead of the traditional Robin Hood, this book has Rhi Bran y Hud, translating from Welsh into English as King Bran of the Hood.
In this book, Rhi Bran takes on a lethal creature façade called the King Raven, who lurks in the trees, leasing his black arrows upon the Norman knights. As his legend spreads through the land, the Normans become increasingly desperate to eradicate the Grellon, Bran decides to attempt to take back his rightful land. With Rhi Bran, a formidable leader, Will Scatlocke, Iwan and Friar Aethelfirth (who later becomes known as Friar Tuck) and his band of well-trained, renowned longbow men who were revered throughout the land, he sets of to re-join his warband to retake his homeland. But in doing this, he faces the full power of the King and his counties armies.
The structure of this book revolves around three main perspectives. That of Rhi Bran, through the Eyes of Richard de Glanville and Guy of Gysburne and finally, there are small chapters of song which seem to be a minstrels tale of the King Raven and his Band. This book, due to its multiple perspectives offers a lot of different actions scenes, whether they are verbal conflict, which occurs more on the Norman part, or violence on the Welsh part. Although the variety of perspectives lends itself to a variety of action scenes, it also lends itself to perhaps too many talking scenes. Although it can make the books seem a little boring, once you get past it, it gives you a much more in-depth understanding of the ‘going-ons’ and the plans of each party.
This whole book leads up to a culmination of the Kings armies against the warband of Rhi Bran and his Grellon. He the hardships the Welsh have faced not only seem more real, but it intensifies as they are greatly outnumbered. Rhi Bran takes on his other side, and becomes the King Raven again, and through a variety of skirmishes, slightly thins the enemies lines in the dense forest. But it comes at a sad cost. He also loses his home, and his mentor, Angharad. As Rhi Bran is joined by his cousions holds’ warriors, he marches towards the Norman lines. At this point you can feel the pride and the courage of the Welsh, as they march to what could be certain death.
Right at the end of this compelling book, it links back to what we know as the traditional fairy-tale of Robin Hood, as the sons of one of Rhi Brans men, Tomas a’ Dale, is a minstrel, and tells his story as a tale to all of the kingdoms and holds that would receive him. He also changes his story to suit the local politics of the area. Here we find that throughout the whole book, those sections of song turn out to be Tomas telling us the story. Here, through the many different dialects, Rhi Bran y Hud becomes Robin Hood.
This is a very well-written, engaging book, that successful engages many ideas, such as the idea of courage and leadership through hardship. Stephen R. Lawhead has taken what we know as the traditional Robin Hood, and changed it into an easily believable, Welsh version.

© 2012 Sydney Boys High
  VeronicaCrothers | Dec 9, 2012 |
Tuck is the third volume of Stephen Lawhead’s King Raven trilogy. Billed as "Robin Hood - the legend begins anew," the first volume, Hood, gives re-birth to the Robin Hood of lore in a new time and a new place. Rather than keeping to the assumed boundaries of the Old English tales, Lawhead explores what he (as he explains in the afterword, titled "Robin Hood in Wales?") believes could be the true origins of the legendary thief and his band of merry men. Scarlet continues in this tradition with the introduction of William Scatlocke (friends call him Scarlet), forced from home and occupation by the Normans, who seeks out King Raven as an ally. Finally, Tuck brings the series to its conclusion.

Fortunately, Lawhead spent enough time previously on the good Friar's exposition, allowing this final volume to move along rapidly, with more fervor than its predecessors. Friar Tuck nevertheless remains integral, essential to the plot. And whereas poor Scarlet ended up causing more trouble for the Grellon, dragging them into the open more than they'd wanted to be, Tuck seems to be the balm for those wounds. The Friar, as a Saxon, as a priest, as a member of the Grellon, manages to bridge the gaps between the warring parties, bringing the story to a satisfying end with less bloodshed than one expects.

But Tuck is not the only essential character. The Baron Neufmarché, whose actions against Rhi Bran in the first novel, is guided by his previously frigid wife, whose new love for all things Welch changes him. We're also introduced to Alan a'Dale, a character who figures in to the Robin Hood legend later than most other canon characters. Alan proves a surprising character, almost as quick on his feet as King Raven himself, and his business as a minstrel invites Lawhead to use minstrel-song as a literary interlude, as a device to tie the story securely to its epilogue.

Tuck makes for a nice, tidy conclusion to the series. Lawhead's research is impeccable and his creative storytelling really shines through in the finale. Definitely see this series through to the end - it'll be worth it.

Lauren Cartelli
www.theliterarygothamite.com ( )
  laurscartelli | Aug 29, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
...the third volume of Stephen Lawhead's retelling of the Robin Hood legends.

He has transplanted them all to Wales in the 11th century and given them Welshy names, and made them Celtic freedom fighters.

The dialogue is rip-roaring mock-antique, which like the florid similes in hard-boiled fiction might be a genre requirement but also can be made to sound like Monty Python if you read it aloud in a funny voice.

added by justjim | editThe Age, Owen Richardson (Apr 18, 2009)
 

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Stephen R. Lawheadprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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King William stood scratching the back of his hand and watched as another bag of gold was emptied into the ironclad chest; one hundred solid gold byzants that, added to fifty pounds in silver and another fifty in letters of promise to be paid upon collection of his tribute from Normandie, brought the total to five hundred marks.
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Abbot Hugo plans to bring the invading Norman marchogi to the forest in force, heralding the start of a campaign to wipe out King Raven and his band once and for all. But Friar Tuck, a most unconventional priest, may just have a solution to the band's desperate dilemma.… (more)

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