Review: Blood Of The Wolf – Steven A. McKay

Blood of the Wolf Steven A. McKayMy version: Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction England, Robin Hood
Steven A. McKay
First published: 2016
Supplied by the author
but that in no way influenced my review. The £500,000 in used notes however, is another story entirely…

From the cover:

Robin Hood Returns!

And this time the legendary wolf’s head is working for the sheriff…

After winning his freedom in Rise of The Wolf, Robin – with his faithful lieutenant John Little at his side – now spends his days travelling around northern England dispensing King Edward II’s justice.

When a new band of outlaws appears in Barnsdale, Sheriff Henry de Faucumberg sends Robin and John to deal with them. Before the lawmen can track them down though, Will Skaflock is attacked and another of their old companions murdered in his own home by the outlaws whose leader seems to have only one thing on his mind: bloody vengeance!

Will Robin’s reunited gang be enough to defeat this savage new threat that seeks to wipe them out one by one? Or will another old foe provide the final twist that sees England’s greatest longbowman dead and buried?

This stunning conclusion to the bestselling Forest Lord series will entertain readers looking for action-packed historical fiction in the mould if Scarrow, Kane and Cornwell!

To further add to your reading pleasure, I have carefully gathered together a whole load of Robin Hood-type stuff on the Speesh Reads Blood of the Wolf Pinterest board

An emotional farewell to Robin and his band of Wolf’s Heads. But Blood of the Wolf is anything but a long, sad farewell. It is, along with the previous Forest Lord books, a joyous celebration of the Robin Hood myth, and, it’s much more up-beat than Angus Donald’s peerless and incredibly moving The Death of Robin Hood. The tears in my eyes this time, at the end of Blood of the Wolf, were those of happiness.

Yes, Blood of the Wolf is as rip-snorting, barn-storming, rambunctious a tale of daring-do – along with what my old Grandmother used to call “dirty dickery” as you’re ever likely to enjoy. A fully fitting way to see the series finish…or…

For a start, it is a triumphant celebration of all that has made Steven’s Robin Hood series so fresh and unmissable. In contrast to Angus’ Outlaw Chronicles, Steven’s books have actually had Robin Hood in the centre. Everything revolves around Robin, he is the fulcrum and the undisputed leader of the stories. Remember, in Angus’ novels, the main character was actually Alan Dale. It’s his remembrances we follow, and Robin may be the one who leads Alan where he goes, but Robin Hood is more of a background character. Steven’s hero is indisputably Robin Hood, but then, a character as strong as Steven’s Robin can only that way thanks to his supporting actors characters. Here, I feel, the supporting characters of Little John, Friar Tuck and, my especial favourite from the start, Will Scaflock, really shine through the forest… Not only do they get the page-time they deserve, but they also get a chance to show their mettle, their pathos, and share in the tragedy and help determine the outcome of the story. To also come full circle, there returns a character, or at least a close relative, that we first encountered earlier in the series, a thoroughly nasty piece of work whose sole purpose is to wipe out the whole of the Outlaw band. Consider: the former Wolf’s Heads, who are first and foremost former Wolf’s Heads, now finding themselves on the side of law and justice and the English way, are being pursued by a ruthless band of outlaws… An ironic masterstroke.

It really has been an absolute privilege to first discover, then enjoy Steven A. McKay’s Forest Lord series. He is undoubtedly worthy to be mentioned alongside Angus Donald when thinking of the Robin Hood legend. To have reached the end is…well, is this the end? I know what I think – and hope – you’ll have to read Blood of the Wolf and make your own mind up…

You can buy Blood of the Wolf and all of Steven’s books, at Amazon

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