56. Tuck: The Legend Triumphs
by Stephen R. Lawhead
I've reviewed the first two books in this series earlier this year: Hood & Scarlet. This is the final installment, and it's an enjoyable and satisfying finish. I wasn't really looking forward to a new narrator, especially Tuck, who just didn't spark my interest in the previous books. But it isn't written as much from his perspective as in third-person, with alternating perspectives. Anyway, the format, though different than the previous, worked for me.
The action is griping. We've become invested in the characters and know and appreciate their strengths and weaknesses. We're also familiar with Lawheads rift on the Robin Hood legend, and love rooting for our Rhi Bran y Hud. Lawhead makes great use of the trilogy, creating an arch that is full and varied, and a world we can believe in.
"Hear me, friend priest," she said, holding him with her deep-set eyes. This war began long ago:we merely join it now. The trouble is not of our making, but it is our portion and ours to endure.:
"That does not cheer me much,"sighed Tuck.
"Regrets, have you?"
"No, never," he answered. "That is the duty of any Christian."
"Then trust God with it and that which is given you, do."
"You are right, of course," he said at last.
From the fascinating Author's Note:
...a now little-remembered law of medieval combat -- namely, that when two opposing forces met, those with the most archers would invariably win. A sort of corollary stated that when both sides boasted roughly the same number of archers, the side with the most Welsh archers would win.
Quaint as it might seem today, buying and selling prayers for cash was a business conducted in dead earnest at the time. For it would be difficult to overestimate the fear of hell and its attendant horrors for the medieval mind.