Scarlet: King Raven Trilogy II

Book Two

One of Lawhead’s writing styles that you either love or hate involves total character-switching. My husband was several chapters into The Silver Hand (another great trilogy you should check out) before he realized that the main speaker was not the protagonist of the previous book. So you’ve gotta be quick.

With Scarlet, the switch is very obvious. Lawhead’s narrative in Hood is third person omnipotent, but in Scarlet, the condemned forester IS our narrator, speaking directly to the reader, and then telling his tale to the monk who is supposed to be taking his confessions. In classic style, we know right away that Will Scarlet is condemned to death by hanging, and that he is only being kept alive to tell his tale to the young monk, Odo. But precisely why Scarlet is in prison or when he is scheduled to die is not revealed until the midpoint of the narrative (totally classic medieval story telling: I love it!).

Along the way, the reader sees King Bran from the previous novel from an outsider’s point of view. It makes his relationship with Mérian much more interesting because everyone else knows that the two are hopelessly in love, but they still think they hate each other. My favorite parts are the bold use of disguise and intrigue and I actually yelled at Anthony that he HAD TO READ this book when I finished, it was so fun (he still hasn’t).

Of the three books in the series, this one was my favorite.


About daniellaindie

I'm Anthony’s wife, and mother to Jonathan, Hannah, Joshua, and Isabella. When not making PBJs and cleaning, I like to write, immerse myself in a good book, play my piano, or plan epic couponing trips.

Posted on April 29, 2010, in Books, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Perfect review of this, Dani! Yes, the switch in characters (and definitely the voice) threw me a bit when I began this second book. I quickly became fascinated, however, with Lawhead’s ability to use such distince voicing through the entire novel and pull it off without frustrating or confusing the reader! And I agree–you either love that Lawhead switches people and storylines from book to book, or you hate it. I hated it this time for the first few chapters (because I wanted the story of Hood finished up) until a little ways in. Then I settled into the intrigue. And the fantastic writing.

    Looking forward to your review of Tuck!

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