This month’s CSFF blog tour selection, Tuck, is the third installment of Stephen R. Lawhead’s re-imagining of the legend of Robin Hood. I haven’t read the other two books, which puts me at something of a disadvantage trying to provide a synopsis of the story, but I’ll trip along merrily and do my best.
The curtain rises on Rhi Bran (Robin), dispossessed heir to Elfael, a Welsh kingdom conquered by French Norman invaders, as he and his followers plod dejectedly back to the greenwood. William Rufus, King of England, has reneged on a promise to restore Bran’s domain, handing it over instead to the treacherous Abbot Hugo and his thuggish allies.
What’s an exiled princeling to do? If he’s a Welshman, he fights back, hard. Tuck describes Bran’s escalation of his guerrilla war, disguised as the mysterious King Raven, against Hugo and the Norman oppressors–always outnumbered, but prevailing on the strength of superior wit, deadly skill with the longbow, and faith that God will aid his righteous cause.
However, Bloody William isn’t one to tolerate disorder in his realm. When the king arrives in Wales with a thousand knights and men-at-arms to settle Rhi Bran’s rebellion, it seems a miracle will be necessary for Bran to lead his band of outlaws to victory, free Elfael from its tyrannical overlords, and recover his lost domain.
It’s mostly Bran’s story, but much of it is told from the perspective of Friar Aethelfrith, “Tuck,” a simple country priest who wishes for a simple, peaceful life but finds himself trudging from battle to battle as Bran’s de-facto chaplain. Tuck is a working-man’s cleric, possessed of a practical faith, striving for peaceful solutions while acknowledging that sometimes a sharp rap to an enemy’s noggin with a stout quarterstaff is the only reasonable course of action. His penetrating insight and dogged persistence make him one of Rhi Bran’s most valued advisors.
And Tuck believes in miracles.
More by way of a review tomorrow, but in the meantime, please pay a visit to the other fine stops on this month’s tour:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<