Sunday, April 20, 2014

Will In Scarlet by Matthew Cody

Recently I finished The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen.  It was book three in a wonderfully exciting trilogy.  As I searched my TBR stack for my next book, I realized how much I enjoyed the medieval fantasy genre.  A while back I received Will In Scarlet by Matthew Cody from Random House, but hadn’t started it, so here it was a book that fit into the genre I was looking for.  I really enjoy Mr. Cody’s writing, so I knew I was in for a treat.  Little did I know that it was going to be a huge treat!

Copy from Random House
The legend of Robin Hood is one that has been done in film, books and TV.  Most we wish had never been done.  Yes, Kevin Costner comes to mind.  Matthew Cody’s adaptation is one that is sure to be a hit.  (We are doing Lucy Calking unit of study on Fairy Tale adaptations right now in class.) 

Will in Scarlet is the tale of William Shackley heir to Shackley Castle.  Will’s father is currently traveling with Richard I The Lionheart.  They had been away fighting.  Prince John is ruling England during his brother’s absence and the Sherriff of Nottingham is helping.  Will is thirteen and spends most of his time getting into trouble with his friend Milo.  When the Sherriff arrives at the Shackley Castle with Sir Guy of Gisborne tragedy comes with them.  This sends Will and his mother fleeing to safer places.  Unfortunately, for Will he ends up in Sherwood Forest. 

While trying to stay alive Will befriends Little John, a lad named Much, and a drunk named Rob, that used to be very good with a bow and arrow; and was in love with fair maiden named Marian. To buy time Will tells Gilbert, the leader of the Merry Men that he can get them into Shackley Castle to get rich.  Will’s true reason for going back to his home is to seek revenge on the man that murdered his uncle. 

I really enjoyed this book.  I liked the pace of the book and how Will knew right from wrong, but that often that line had to be blurred for the good of everyone.  The book is gritty, but I can see our guys read book club really enjoying this book.  There is action, good vs. evil, and a pretty girl.  All the things that make for a fun read.  The thing that stands out the most is that it often takes the back stories of a legend to really make them exciting.  I can’t wait for this to come out in paperback, so I can order it for Guys Read.

On a final note I am still waiting for a sequel for the Dead Gentleman.  Hint! Hint!

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