Blood of the Wolf by Steven A. McKay
Reaching the end of this book, and indeed the Forest Lord series, is like saying farewell to a dear friend. We have followed the tale of Robin Hood from his earliest days when, due to the actions of another, he is forced into the life out the outlaw; a man with a price on his head and who can be killed by anyone, at any time without fear of legal punishment.
The previous books in the series have led us through the trials and tribulations Robin has to endure until now, finally, it seems that he has achieved all he could wish for.
A pardon for himself and his loyal band of men, a new, lucrative career working for the man who had hunted him for so long. It seems that he has it all.
In reality his life is far from happy. Old friends now look at him as a turncoat, his own wife can barely stand to be near him. The people who had sung ballads in his honour now see him as the enemy. In achieving his dreams, has Robin destroyed the happiness he has always sought?
Steven A. McKay once again delivers a riveting, edge of the seat, page turner. There are times you want to look away from the sheer brutality of medieval life, a cruel, blood-soaked time where life is short, and the violence is unflinching in its intensity, but it is to the author’s credit that the brutality never overwhelms the reader. The action may be blunt but it never gratuitous, although there was one scene where a young girl is abused and murdered that had me feeling queasy for a moment.
Blood of the Wolf sinks it’s fangs in early and, from the first page, you are taken on a helter-skelter ride through the forests of Barnsdale. From mass insanity in Holmfirth, to cruel murders on the dusty tracks of Yorkshire, you are invited to saddle-up and join the merry band in the hunt for the cruellest, most heartless and deviant foe that Robin has ever had to face. This enemy has but one aim, and that is to see Robin Hood dead! To achieve that aim, there is nothing he, and his growing band of murderous villains are not prepared to do – be warned, there is nothing they are not prepared to do!
For those who have even a passing knowledge of the Robin Hood legend, his ultimate fate is known long before you reach the end of tale. That knowledge lends a dark cast to the closing chapters of this wonderful story, people will die, and the blood will flow in torrents. Yet even now, in this darkest of times, you are still rooting for there to be some possibility of a happy ending for Robin and his young family.
Does that possibility exist? Is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the reader?
There is only way to find out for yourself; read Blood of the Wolf and plunge headlong into a bloody, brutal, brilliant book. You won’t be disappointed that you did.
I rated this 5 out of 5/