"Well researched and enjoyably written, Wolf's Head is a fast-paced and original recasting of a familiar legend. McKay's gift as a storyteller pulls the reader into a world of violence, passion, injustice, and revenge and leaves us wanting more!" (Glyn Iliffe, author, The Adventures of Odysseus series)
When a frightened young outlaw joins a gang of violent criminals their names - against a backdrop of death, dishonour, brotherhood, and love - will become legend.
England, AD 1321: After viciously assaulting a corrupt but powerful clergyman Robin Hood flees the only home he has ever known in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Becoming a member of a notorious band of outlaws, Hood and his new companions - including John Little and Will Scaflock - hide out in the great forests of Barnsdale, fighting for their very existence as the law hunts them down like animals.
When they are betrayed, and their harsh lives become even more unbearable, the band of friends seeks bloody vengeance.
Meanwhile, the country is in turmoil, as many of the powerful lords strive to undermine King Edward II's rule until, inevitably, rebellion becomes a reality and the increasingly deadly yeoman outlaw from Wakefield finds his fate bound up with that of a Hospitaller Knight.…
"Wolf's Head" brings the brutality, injustice, and intensity of life in medieval England vividly to life, and marks the beginning of a thrilling new historical fiction series in the style of Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow.
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I like both versions, the written being much more portable (and I can fall asleep reading), and spoken (audio) version being more versatile - I can do other things whilst listening.
The ambush on the sheriff and abbot, where the outlaws get help from an unexpected source.
It made me laugh on several occasions, wistful at times.
Most of us have heard the story of Robin Hood, his nobly born lady fair (the maid Marian), the evil sheriff of Nottingham, and his equal in notoriety, Guy of Gisborne. Wolf's Head has very few similarities to that story, and the author takes you on a sometimes rather bleak and dismal trek through the woods and villages of Barnsdale with our hero and his friends. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bleak and dismal about the writing, but you get sucked into a believable miserable mid-winter forest, scratching a living from what little you can find, or steal. Robin is a young lad, not the grown, outcast noble we usually think of, and he has to fight hard to earn his place as leader of the outlaws. A compelling story, packed with action and political intrigue, a little love, and plenty of humour. I will definitely be reading this again!
A Brilliant Reworking of a Popular Story
Yes, because the story is both compelling and believable. It was also an innovative retelling of the much loved Robin Hood tale.
The characters had depth. The storyline was exhilarating, and carried the listener along. The language was contemporary, and that was refreshing.
It took me a little while to get used to the performance. At first I thought that the reader needed to put more feeling into it. As the story went on, however, he seemed to get into his stride, and I enjoyed his performance more. I think the performer read the female characters quite well, and that must be difficult for a male performer.
Definitely worth the listening time, and I would definitely listen to it many times, as I do with all my favourite audio books.
I have the Kindle version of Steven A. McKay's book, and have read it quite a few times now because I enjoy it very much. It was interesting to listen to it, having already got used to my own characterisations of the main characters.
- Louise Rule