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!
For More Reviews, please visit the following sites from the Christian Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog Tour:
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D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson