See what the Rave’n is all about. Review #3 of Tuck, by Stephen R. Lawhead

And now we’ll look at the novel itself, Tuck by Stephen R. Lawhead.

Tuck was a fun story to read.  There were many elements that drew me into the time period and setting, but not so much so that I had to struggle to understand what was happening.  There was even a Pronunciation Guide at the beginning that really helped me to hear how the words were supposed to sound.  A sweet taste of the culture.

I liked the characters a lot!  Stephen did a good job of making them feel real.  I cared about them, about what happened to them.  And they weren’t simply molds from the popular views of Robin Hood.  These characters were familiar, yet brand new at the same time.

The overall story was very entertaining.  There were a number of times I had a hard time putting the book down, and other times that I caught myself pausing to soak up the mental images.

However I did have a couple complaints about the book. 

One was the particular version of a World View.  I hold many things against Catholicism, and do not believe it is the same as Christianity.  Because of the history of Europe I can see how Tuck could be accurately reflecting the popular views of the time.  But Catholicism certainly wasn’t the only view of the time that claimed Christ and I was hoping for something different from what was presented.  There were some things I was able to gain from the idea of Christ meeting Welsh culture though, mostly due to some elements I’ve been considering from G.K. Chesterton‘s “The Everlasting Man” and “Orthodoxy”.

My other complaint was that there were times when the plot seemed unnaturally convenient.  Providence could be mentioned here, I suppose, but even then the story still doesn’t seem to flow by its own power.  There were a number of times when it seemed like the author made it too easy on himself, and the sequence of events should have been different.  I mentioned in my last review on this book that it was believable, but I was speaking in a historical sense.  It would have been nice to see the story lead the author more than it did, rather than seeing the author force the story.  It wasn’t too bad, but it was enough to bug me a little.

Otherwise I enjoyed Tuck, and would recommend it to Fantasy fans.  And as I mentioned before, his other two books in the King Raven series (“Hood” and “Scarlet”) are on my reading list.

Overall, a good book.  I hope you enjoy it too!

To pick up a copy of Tuck, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595540873
For Stephen R. Lawhead’s Website, visit http://www.stephenlawhead.com/

For More Reviews, please visit the following sites from the Christian Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Tour:
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
Kait
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
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
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Review #2 of what you thought you knew: Tuck, by Stephen R. Lawhead

Tuck was definitely a fun read.  Let’s consider part of what made that possible… the Setup.

I think most of us have at some point enjoyed the Robin Hood tale.  The legend has been presented with a Disney twist to young folks, and they’ve been loving it since the 1973 release of the movie.  Of course pop culture has many references to Robin the Shrek slayer and his Men in Tights.  So the basic elements of the story are familiar.  Studying for an Elizabethan Travel Guide I wrote gave me some additional exposure to the story.

This familiarity with the story likely had a lot to do with why I never really felt lost jumping into the 3rd novel in the series.  There were times when I wished I knew more details from the first two novels; but I only wanted them, I don’t remember feeling like I needed them.  This not only gives Tuck the ability to stand on its own, but it makes the reader want to see how the author envisionend the rest of the tale in his first two books.  Hood (book 1) and Scarlet (book 2) are definitely on my reading list now.

So if you’re new to the series it will likely be better if you read the first two novels first.  But don’t feel like you have to wait.  Tuck carries the uninitiated reader well, especially if the reader is familiar with the tale of Robin Hood.

I don’t know enough to speak with authority on how historically accurate the book is.  Indeed there are a lot of questions surrounding the tale of Robin Hood and I would question whether anybody can truly say how it came to be.  But this telling of Rhi Bran y Hud is a believable one. 

And more on that in the next review.

To pick up a copy of Tuck, visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595540873
For Stephen R. Lawhead’s Website, visit http://www.stephenlawhead.com/

For More Reviews, please visit the following sites from the Christian Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Tour:
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
Kait
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
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
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Bound to Impress! Review #1: Tuck, by Stephen Lawhead.

Tuck, book three of the King Raven Trilogy.  By Stephen R. Lawhead.  Published by Thomas Nelson.

I enjoyed reading Tuck.  But before getting into the content of this book, I want to comment on the class of the publisher.  They didn’t send out their cheapest copies for reviews.  They sent a hard cover copy, and with a full color, textured cover-sleeve.  I was immediately impressed when I saw it.

Because I’ve been looking into home binding some of my own works, I tend to notice the binding of books now.  I’m no expert by any means, but it’s not hard to see how well they put this book together.  The pages that bind the book block to the hardcover, normally plain paper of a sometimes heavier stock, were not only of the higher quality paper but they had a very nice map of the book’s setting.  The binding is solid; sewn and glued, with very clean edges all around.

Considering the cost of making such copies, I was impressed to receive this version of the novel for a book review.  The publisher and author obviously care to put their best foot forward, at least with this novel.  Good show Thomas Nelson and Mr. Lawhead.

In the next review we’ll consider the setup of the story.

To pick up a copy of Tuck, visit – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595540873  
For Stephen R. Lawhead’s Website, visit – http://www.stephenlawhead.com/

For More Reviews, please visit the following sites from the Christian Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Tour:
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
Kait
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
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
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson