May CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1: Tuck, by Stephen R. Lawhead

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:

Stephen R. Lawhead’s Web Site

Buy the Book at

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Epic Rat
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

>>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.<<

5 thoughts on “May CSFF Blog Tour, Day 1: Tuck, by Stephen R. Lawhead

  1. Outstanding post! I wondered how someone coming in to this third of the trilogy without having read what came before would respond to the story. Your intro is excellent! I’m looking forward to what else you have to say, Fred.


    1. Thanks, Becky. I thought Mr. Lawhead did a great job of integrating the backstory without being too heavy-handed about it. It’s tough to do that as well as introduce fresh material and pull off the big finish in one volume.

  2. I agree with Becky: good post, well-written and succinct.

    And do go back and read the other books, especially Scarlet, for which I have become quite the accidental evangelist.

    1. Thanks, Keanan. Yes, I definitely want to check out the other books, and Scarlet’s story sounds very interesting, from the bits and pieces I encountered in Tuck.

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