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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2013
Owing to the superb marketing from the Author, Stephen McKay on his Facebook page and the excellent teasers he would post.
I awaited the launch of Wolfs Head with great impatience, finally it arrived and I was not disappointed, what a fantastic story, completely captivating me from the start, the reader quickly gets a feel for the characters and the tail takes you brilliantly through the Lancastrian Rebellion of the 1320's, The final battle is yet to take place so I (impatiently) now await the second part of the story,
Excellent first book from an excellent new Author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2013
When you take such a well known and well loved tale as Robin Hood and his Merry Men it would be only too easy to go down that well trodden path so familiar to all who know the legend. "hail fellow and well met!" greetings between rosy cheeked outlaws who dress in green tights and short tunics like medieval tranvestites while swinging through Sherwood Forest laughing like giddy schoolboys. It was therefore a delight to read this book and find that Steven A. McKay has taken the legend, gave it a good shake and let this thoroughly enjoyable version fall out.
From the very first page you find yourself in Yorkshire rather than Nottinghamshire, in the village of Wakefield rather than Loxley. Here Robin is a common man who through a moment of anger is forced into fleeing his home, his family and his love Mathilda. These changes add a genuine fresh twist to the tale which adds so much to the book.
While most of the regular characters appear here, they seem new, believable and above all true to their period. Their language is robust and not for the easily offended, but will be familiar to anyone who has worked with other men as part of a team. The violence is frequent, bloody and merciless but again reflects how hard, unrelenting and short life was then.
All in all this is a book which should appeal to all who enjoy a good old page turner that keeps you gripped until the end.
I look forward to the next instalment of Wolfs Head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2014
It is difficult to write a story already told many times such as the legend of Robin Hood. This version has stayed close to the legend and held the attention to the end. The narrative is simply told which is probably why it engages and hold the attention of the reader . I now want to read the sequel which in itself speaks well for the first book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2015
This is a brilliant book, it is a fresh a lively telling of England's greatest folk hero. I could not put it down, I will admit I'm not the fastest reader and having two children doesn't help to read in peace, but whenever I could grab a few spare minutes I would pick up the book and continue the story. Not being a book critic, all I can say is what I personally thought about it. I enjoyed Mr McKay's writing and found the description of people, surroundings and events to be very clear and well thought out. I warmed to the characters straight away, which is important to me. Thoroughly enjoyed it a have recommended it to others. Well done, an easy 5 stars.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 October 2013
Review
Steven is a new member of the fraternity of self published Historical Fiction writers who can actually write. Its a surprising and welcome find when one of these authors pop up. Not only do they have to come up with an idea, write the idea well, but they also need to edit the book, proof it but they also need to do the PR for it. It often the PR they concentrate on and not the quality of the writing and the substance of the plot.

Steven has concentrated, he has picked a classic and added a twist, sticking to one of the original ballads, moving Robin to Yorkshire (which will get him shot where i live in Nottinghamshire) the King is Edward not Richard, there is no Prince John etc. Its a very well told tale, well thought out with characters he has clearly put a lot of time and thought into. They take on their own life as the book progresses, they grow in age and stature, they are not modern constructs in the past, they are true to their period.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't perfection, there are some issues, a few slips with equipment, equipment usage, character inconsistency, and the odd contrived plot change. But this is a début self published novel, and has not benefited from a professional editor, who would polish and pull this together.

All of that aside, this is a splendid novel and I am genuinely looking forward to book 2 in the series, and I recommend that you give this book a try.

(Parm)
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on 17 August 2015
I am no Robin Hood expert and admit to having difficulty removing the vision of a fox in green tights from my head when attempting to read a story like this. McKay's Hood is not a fox (spoiler), but he is muscle-bound, witty, friendly, and impetuous. An all around lovable guy, except for the fact that he happens to be an outlaw. But he became an outlaw defending his girl's honor, so even that makes him a good guy.

All the characters you would expect are given this author's own special twist to create a unique Robin Hood story that is familiar but different enough to captivate the reader's interest. I especially liked the fact that this novel was set during the reign of Edward II, so there was no horrible history surrounding Bad Prince John and Good King Richard.

Though it is an expected element of a Robin Hood story, I had difficulty getting around the idea of an honorable band of outlaws. Everyone was there because they stole food for a starving family or defended a woman against rape, but they sure turned into lethal killers when rich clergymen passed by. The negative portrayal of most men of faith in the novel, except for Friar Tuck who is only sort of a clergyman, rubbed me the wrong way, but wasn't a major issue.

If you are looking for a light, adventurous story where the good poor people claim victory over the bad rich people, this is it. Some attempt is made to delve into the greater political friction of the era (Despensers = Bad) with chapters switching over to Thomas of Lancaster and his plans to dethrone Edward, but they were infrequent and seemed to set the stage for things to come for the most part. I have hopes that the next book will blend these two story lines together a little more seamlessly.

Book 3 was just released a couple of weeks ago, so if you are looking for a fun jaunt into Sherwood Forest there is plenty to keep you entertained with McKay's series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2015
I've read all of Steven's books now and I am happy to recommend them to anyone. Steven creates good clear images which allow your imagination to flow and his dialogue is crisp and fast. He also makes it easy for the reader to relate to the characters because they have a genuine feeling of life. The books are a fast read and you are never but always looking forward to what is going to happen next. Give his books a go, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2015
Sometimes you start a book and you just know from the first page that you are really going to enjoy it. For me this was one of those books. I have to admit I read it in a day purely because I enjoyed it so much. Well thought out with a great story line, relentless action, great characters and a satisfactory conclusion, which just whets your appetite for the sequel, which I shall be reading very soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2015
When I started reading I believed that it was 'another novel about Robin Hood'. However, to my delight, McKay has approached the subject by constructing a solid frame for this character based in early ballads which places him in Barnsdale forest (Yorkshire), and not in Nottimgham as everybody would have expected. Well done McKay! Finally someone brings a breath of fresh air about this character.!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2015
A really well writen story, that keeps you captivated. I read many many books but don't often feel compelled to write a review. This book is one I will remember. It has taken a well known story, added some intresting, intreage and a whole lot of storyline. One I couldn't put down. Not factually accurate but then the author says that himself. Give it a go well worth it.
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