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.