Just Finished: The King Raven Trilogy, by Stephen Lawhead

I’m going to have more to say later – possibly not for awhile, as I may want to get a review up on the Castalia House blog rather than here. But I just finished it and have to say SOMETHING.

The King Raven Trilogy, consisting of “Hood”, “Scarlet”, and “Tuck”, is Stephen Lawhead’s brilliant “historical” take on Robin Hood. Apparently people consider the books fantasies. I think that’s stretching things to the breaking point, but it seems to be a pretty uncontroversial point, so what do I do? Maybe¬† there’s a hint of druidic mysticism but very little, especially after book one.

There really is a ton to say about it: About how, like in “The Pendragon Cycle”, he does a brilliant job of making it seem like he has something new to say about the legends while at the same time staying true to their core, about his wonderfully drawn characters, his atmospheric settings, his prose that seems simultaneously casual and complex, and his unexpected, but totally plausible and very moving, ending. But in this post, I’ll settle with this:

Stephen Lawhead is a very popular author who has been around a long time. Just look at his Amazon reviews for proof of that. He writes fantasy. He writes sci-fi, even hard sci-fi. And – here’s the kicker – he’s very, very very superversive. So I ask – How are we not talking about him?

I mean we, here, at Superversive SF or even Castalia. How is it just me? Stephen Lawhead should be the poster boy for the movement. We should have statues of him. His writing is moving, inspiring, at times, beautiful, and downright elegiac. The King Raven Trilogy and the Pendragon Cycle represent everything we’re trying to promote.

And he’s popular, no less! And REALLY good!

So how am I the only one here who has heard of him?

I don’t get it.

  • curtjester

    I had never heard of him until you mentioned him. So I went through five books of the Pendragon Cycle and fell in love with his writing. Superversive and superior storytelling,

    So I guess the King Raven trilogy goes on my wish list.