Lawhead has made a career of historical fiction, but his blending of myth and history in this trilogy has created something literary and elegant. He freely admits that setting the Hood story in Wales, rather than Sherwood Forest, may "seem strange to many readers, and perhaps even perverse." Nevertheless, he hits upon a connection between the tale's outlaw focus and the gritty determination of the Welsh, especially in the generations following the Norman Conquest of 1066. In doing, so he tells a story which has fresh legs and can also be connected, with few intellectual leaps, to Errol Flynn's green tights.
The second book, Scarlet (2007), is even better than the first. If you want a primer on writing in convincing voices, this is your book. The narration is passed back and forth between third person and the first person voice of Will Scatlocke, or Will Scarlet as he prefers. The separation between the two is so good it’s breathtaking. There is no doubt as to who is speaking when Scarlet has the story. His voice is so clear, so immediately recognizable, that the reader feels an intimate connection to the character, like reading a letter from a friend.
Scarlet is an English forester who has lost his job thanks to Norman intervention. His wandering takes him into Wales, and it's not long before he joins Bran’s band of outlaws. The fight to regain Bran's cantref (his Welsh kingdom) grows more brutal as the enemies become more concrete. The corrupt Abbot Hugo has been sent to civilize the land, bringing in his wake Marshal Guy Gysburne and the King's cruel Sheriff, Richard de Glanville. This sequel has much more of the rollicking, fighting adventure such a Robin Hood series promises, and is totally enthralling from beginning to end.
Tuck (2009) picks up within heartbeats of Scarlet's end and brings the story of Rhi Bran and his Grellon (Welsh for "flock", aka Merry Men) to an end. Events turn darker as the seemingly invincible forest dwellers learn the hard way just how devious the English King and his nobles can be. The Welsh have been desperately outnumbered the entire time, but their guerrilla tactics will hold out only so long, as King William Rufus turns his full attention to subduing this troublesome country.