Tag Archives: The Forest Lord

Sworn to God by Steven A. McKay – Review

So David’s Book Blurg has been absent of late. 2020 has been a tough year for us all and like many I’ve had my own share of personal events to deal with. While real life takes priority I’ve still been reading and I’m excited to get back to reviewing and sharing my thoughts with everyone.

I’m coming back with a bang!

Today I’m going to be reviewing Sworn to God by Steven A. McKay.

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Thriller

Yorkshire, AD 1329
A new religious group moves into an abandoned church just north of the village of Altofts, but when men start dying under strange and suspicious circumstances the local bailiff decides to investigate.

The Disciples of God and their charismatic leader, Lady Alice de Staynton, appear truly holy, but something sinister seems to be going on within the walls of the newly refurbished St Joseph’s. Certainly the bailiff, John Little, has his suspicions about some of the warrior-like male acolytes, but are his fears justified? Infiltrating the group seems to be the best course of action, although the volatile Will Scaflock is none too happy about being nominated for the job by Friar Tuck…
Following on from 2019’s Faces of Darkness, this standalone new story sees three legendary heroes battling invisible ‘Black Lords’ and far more dangerous earthly foes, but can they figure out what’s really going on in St Joseph’s before anyone else dies?

Review

Steven A. McKay is back and he’s revisiting some of our favourite characters from his Forest Lord Series.

Friar Tuck has been pulled into a couple of mysteries over the years along with Little John but in Sworn to God we see the lovely addition of Will “Scarlet” Scaflock.

It’s been a few years since the notorious group of men lead by Robin Hood gained their freedom and lives back. Little John has settled into the life of a bailiff, his stature and presence make it very unlikely he’s going to walk away without the money he’s owed but on one fateful day his job casts lights on the Disciples of God.. There is something strange going on.

The Disciples of God are a new order in the area and John wants to know what they are about.. even more so when one of their order takes their own life… John is soon introduced to the charismatic Lady Alice. She’s got this aura about her that draws people to her.

I won’t spoil all the details but lets just say things don’t smell right and when another suicide occurs John, along with Tuck know it’s time to dig deeper into the disciples.

Will is enlisted into the group as an unknown to Lady Alice, this way he’s able to infiltrate the group. What he learns is that for the most part the disciples are honest individuals and believe in the work they do.. but there is still something not sitting right…but what is it.

Things come to a head, and a few discoveries are made that shake the disciples to the core. For the most part you feel as our heroes do.. we know whose behind it all.. but we don’t know the motivations or how to prove anything… you can feel the frustration.

The author throws in a final twist and all becomes clear..

Wow. That ending..

I really enjoyed the plot from start to finish, it really explores the affect that individuals can have on those most in need…when times are tough..how you can be blind to what is going on all around you.

I love this series of books, there is simply no denying that. It’s the thrilling plot mixed with some characters we know and love, it puts a real twist on the normal style of mystery you’d read. It’s fresh and fun, thrilling and brutal all in one.

Overall a really fun way to develop the characters and it just bloody works brilliantly!

More of the same please!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

 

Rise of the Wolf, the blurb.

STEVEN A. McKAY - Historical Fiction Author

Sir Guy of Gisbourne is back!

Bent on vengeance against Robin Hood and with a turncoat new lieutenant in tow, an unlikely new hero must stand up for herself…

YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND – 1323 AD

The greenwood has been quiet and the outlaws have become complacent, but the harsh reality of life is about to hit the companions with brutal, deadly force thanks to their old foe, Prior John de Monte Martini.

From a meeting with King Edward II himself to the sheriff’s tournament with its glittering prize, the final, fatal, showdown fast approaches for the legendary Wolf’s Head.

New friends, shattered loyalties and a hate-fuelled hunter that threatens to wipe out not only Robin’s friends but his entire family will all play their part in the RISE OF THE WOLF.

What do you think? Comments welcome!

RotW final FINAL!

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The Wolf and the Raven (The Forest Lord #2) By Steven A. McKay – Review

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Title – The Wolf and the Raven (The Forest Lord #2)
Author – Steven A. McKay
Genre –  Historical Fiction
Length –  327 Pages (Kindle)
Publication – 7th April 2014
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

In the aftermath of a violent rebellion Robin Hood and his men must fight for survival with an enemy deadlier than any they’ve faced before…

1322. England is in disarray and Sir Guy of Gisbourne, the king’s own bounty hunter, stalks the greenwood, bringing bloody justice to the outlaws and rebels who hide there.
When things begin to go horribly wrong self-pity, grief and despair threaten to overwhelm the young wolf’s head who will need the support of his friends and family now more than ever. But Robin’s friends have troubles of their own and, this time, not all of them will escape with their lives…

Review

First off… have you read the first book in the series? If not, why??? Get it now. Click here to see my review of Wolf’s Head!

Okay so here goes.. book number two.. high hopes after the first instalment. The pressure was on to deliver!!  And boy did this book do that!

So from the synopsis you can gather the revolt didn’t go well. We are thrust straight into the action with Robin and the other rebels fighting against the king’s men. When Robin sees the war is over he orders his men back to the forest.

We see Robin beaten, men killed, imprisonments, executions the works. There is a lot of meat on the bone in this book and it makes it a very good read indeed.

Personally I feel this book is much darker than the first and even though I gave the first book 5* the author raised the standard!

Now I guess you want to know a little about the story.. well honestly if I told you anything I think it would spoil it. There’s so much happens that I want to tell you but you need to read it for yourself.

By far the best thing about the book is the development. The author has clearly developed the characters since the first book. Yes some characters only play small parts in this book but you can’t have everything.

Another thing I really liked about this tale was that things don’t always go Robin’s way. He’s beaten and broken, physically and mentally and there are a few moments you feel Robin may just give up.

The author had me wondering if even Robin would survive to make it to book number 3!

In this book we see the addition of Sir Guy of Gisborne.. turns out he’s more of an evil b*****d than I thought he would be! Wow. Ruthless doesn’t cut it.

We also see a very interesting tale with Sir Richard the Templar knight develop with the action moving from one point of view to another.

I think Steven took some risks with this book, certain characters meet their end and I honestly thought no way would he kill those characters off…. But he did.. and it works. It meant more development of Robin could happen as you can see him struggling with the events that unfold and you see another side to the man.

As a fan of audio books I also listened to this book while reading along. I guess this would be my only comment for the author. I didn’t much like the narrators voice. He didn’t emphasize words enough or put emotion into his voice. Overall I thought he was just too quiet for my liking but saying that, it’s just my opinion. It wouldn’t put me off audio at all… I just wanted more from the narrator.

Overall this book is top notch. The whole setup of the book is well planned to keep the reader engaged and it surpasses all expectations after the first book and I’m looking forward to seeing the direction Steven’s work will take after book 3 is released.

For more reviews or to purchase the book head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com