Tuck – CSFF Blog Tour

As a writer, I’m commonly asked who my influences are. And ever since I was pulled heart over heels into The Paradise War , oh, many years ago now, I’ve named as chief among them Stephen R. Lawhead. In setting, in mood, in battle scenes, and in a sort of mythic vision of Christianity, he has few equals. His influence shows in much of my writing, I think.

That isn’t to say that I love Lawhead’s work without reservation. By now I view him — presumptuously, I suppose — almost as an old friend, and I think of his writings as the writings of a friend, alternately thrilling and frustrating me. One of his weaknesses, I’ve often thought, is in writing endings. I didn’t care for The Endless Knot (the last book in the Song of Albion trilogy), nor for Grail (the end of the Pendragon Cycle). So I picked up Tuck , Book 3 in the King Raven Trilogy , a reimagining of the Robin Hood legend which Historical Books Review rightly calls "original, engaging, and unorthodox" — especially unorthodox — ready to engage in the experience of reading as only a writer and editor can, mingling a reader’s pure enjoyment with nitpicking, criticism, and far too many opinions.

I really hoped that in the end, this tale of Rhi Bran y Hud, a Welsh Robin Hood fighting to regain his throne against ravaging Normans, greedy traitors, and impossible odds, would not disappoint me.

It didn’t. I really liked it. It was a grand ending to the trilogy, and it featured a grand ending of its own. Well done, my old friend — if you don’t mind me calling you that.

Tomorrow I will post a review, recapping the story and sharing more opinions. And on Wednesday, Lord willing, I will write about Deux ex machina , highly improbable happy endings, and the marvelous, unpredictable power of prayer.

Today, I recommend paying Stephen Lawhead’s Web site a visit. Do explore the links; his books are worth checking out, and the site features some other neat things, like a pronunciation guide to all the Celtic names that grace his pages. (Celtic names are beautiful things.)

I also recommend paying a visit to the independent record label Ark Music , home of Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning. Before I ever read The Paradise War , I listened to the music inspired by it — and Johnson and Dunning have been writing and releasing music based on Lawhead’s work ever since. It’s gorgeous stuff. (Soli Deo Gloria Ballet uses a song from Patrick , also based on a Lawhead novel, to open our production of Father . And the circle of creativity goes round again.)

Then, if you’re still hungry for more, check out the other blog tour participants:

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Terri Main
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Epic Rat
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson






8 responses to “Tuck – CSFF Blog Tour”

  1. […] ? ? Steve Rice Crista Richey ? Hanna Sandvig ? ? Chawna Schroeder ? James Somers ? ? Rachel Starr Thomson ? ? Robert Treskillard ? ? ? Steve Trower ? ? ? Fred […]

  2. Elisabeth Avatar

    Thanks, Rachel!

  3. Rachel Avatar

    Becky, I liked the epilogue too. I also really enjoyed the essays at the end of each book, with historical background and some insight into how a great writer delves into a legend like this!

    Elisabeth, I did really enjoy the Prydain books. I didn’t notice atheism cropping up, though it has been MANY years since I read them last. The books borrow a lot from Welsh mythology, so they have a lot of supernatural elements, but no gods to speak of, including the real one. Plenty of heroes and princesses and evil kings and monsters and magic harps and epic journeys and other mythic elements, though.

  4. […] was amazed to discover that this series has a “sound track”! Here is what Rachel Starr Thompson had to […]

  5. […] This post was Twitted by LordsArt – Real-url.org […]

  6. Elisabeth Avatar

    I’ve read The Song of Albion trilogy, and I think Stephen Lawhead is a brilliant writer. He makes images and scenes come alive with a few well-chosen words. But I liked the first two books better than The Endless Knot. Good to know I’m not the only one.
    On the subject of books, I read on a past post that you had read and loved The Prydain Chronicles. My dad found out that the author translated the works of an atheist, and he was afraid atheism would show up in the books. Did you notice any atheism while you read them?

  7. Rebecca LuElla Miller Avatar

    Hey, Rachel, great post. So Lawhead was one who influenced you. Interesting.

    i agree heartily that this conclusion of the King Raven Trilogy did not disappoint. From my point of view, it satisfied beyond expectations because I hadn’t anticipated a tie-in with the well-known Robin Hood legend. I thought the epilogue was brilliant!


  8. […] Rice Crista Richey Hanna Sandvig ? Chawna Schroeder ? James Somers ? Robert Treskillard ? Rachel Starr Thomson Steve Trower Speculative Faith ? Fred Warren ? Phyllis Wheeler Jill […]

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