I love all kinds of books! For all my friends, I am known on GR as Alicja. I don't stick with a genre, that's boring. Instead you'll get reviews from the most random assortment of fiction and non-fiction works. It's probably due to my interests being as eclectic as my book tastes.
I'm a girlfriend-loving bisexual, science fiction geek, PC gamer, historical fiction devourer, hiker, atheist, history buff, opera lover, vegetarian, kayaker, metal and hard rock concert goer, science nerd, politics debater, world traveler, M/M romance fan, and I have the ability to transform from an adult-like hard-working professional into a screaming fangirl in five seconds flat.
Summary: King Brychan of Elfael rides with his army to pledge loyalty to King William the Red. His army is slaughtered on the way there, with one exception who makes his way back to report the events to Bran, the king's son. This sets off a chain of events inspired by the legends of Robin Hood.
Review: A very different view of the Robin Hood tale taking place in the Wales (so is it a surprise that I imagined Gareth David-Lloyd as Bran?) during the time of William II instead of England. Lawhead makes his case on why he chose Wales but since I am completely lacking in knowledge regarding Welsh history (which I will make a point to remedy at some point), I just decided to enjoy the story without analysis.
Bran ap Brychan is a Welsh prince raised by a distant father after his mother's death. Initially he is the opposite of what one would consider the iconic hero; he is selfish, narcissistic, arrogant, careless, and a coward. The character development is slow, which is great, it avoids the popular my-father-was-killed-so-now-I'm-a-kick-ass-hero-set-on-vengence-and-fighting-for-righteousness-in-60-seconds-flat troupe. The people in Bran's life are important as he learns through his interactions with them; it make him stronger, more confident, and shapes him into the outlaw of legends.
And I absolutely loved the ending! And Bran's way of fighting back! But I won't spoil it for ya...
Due to the plot's predictability and simplicity as well as the straightforward language it read more like a YA novel (which is how I classified it in the end). And unfortunately it also lacks profanity, illicit sex, and excessive violence but every novel's got to have some flaws.
Overall, it was an enjoyable story despite its predictable nature with flawed and relatable characters and a story that sucks you in. I'll be moving on to the next novel in the trilogy soon...