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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

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Louise Penny
The Agony and the Ecstasy
Irving Stone
7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life
Mary C. Neal, M.D.
The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America
Richard John Neuhaus
A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Carla Barnhill, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Wallis

Wolf's Head by Steven McKay

Wolf's Head - Steven A. McKay

I am no Robin Hood expert and admit to having difficulty removing the vision of a fox in green tights from my head when attempting to read a story like this. McKay's Hood is not a fox (spoiler), but he is muscle-bound, witty, friendly, and impetuous. An all around lovable guy, except for the fact that he happens to be an outlaw. But he became an outlaw defending his girl's honor, so even that makes him a good guy.

All the characters you would expect are given this author's own special twist to create a unique Robin Hood story that is familiar but different enough to captivate the reader's interest. I especially liked the fact that this novel was set during the reign of Edward II, so there was no horrible history surrounding Bad Prince John and Good King Richard.

Though it is an expected element of a Robin Hood story, I had difficulty getting around the idea of an honorable band of outlaws. Everyone was there because they stole food for a starving family or defended a woman against rape, but they sure turned into lethal killers when rich clergymen passed by. The negative portrayal of most men of faith in the novel, except for Friar Tuck who is only sort of a clergyman, rubbed me the wrong way, but wasn't a major issue.

If you are looking for a light, adventurous story where the good poor people claim victory over the bad rich people, this is it. Some attempt is made to delve into the greater political friction of the era (Despensers = Bad) with chapters switching over to Thomas of Lancaster and his plans to dethrone Edward, but they were infrequent and seemed to set the stage for things to come for the most part. I have hopes that the next book will blend these two story lines together a little more seamlessly.

Book 3 was just released a couple of weeks ago, so if you are looking for a fun jaunt into Sherwood Forest there is plenty to keep you entertained with McKay's series.