Abaddon, out now
Flaming Arrow is the fourth book in Paul Kane’s Hooded Man series. Unlike the previous three though (Arrowhead, Broken Arrow and Arrowland) this is an ebook novella as opposed to a full length novel. That is not a bad thing as this 100-or-so page tale fits enough story and action in that it does feel like a full length novel – and there is a short story included as well (more on this later).
The story is set some years after the events in the original trilogy, which was itself set in the near future after The Cull had decimated the population and the world was turning to a second Dark Age. Robert Stokes (The Hooded Man) and his family and friends are firmly ensconced in Nottingham Castle, while his peace-keeping force is doing just that both at home in Europe but as you would expect, there are forces at play trying to take control and take any power back from Robert and the new King.
There is a lot going on here as I said before and I am limited to what I can tell you because….well, y’know…..spoilers! Sufficient to say though Paul Kane makes a great job of carrying on the story and setting up quite a few possibilities for future stories. The tale is very Robin Hood based but is not a direct futuristic retelling, more a reimagining of the legend. I guess some of the action scenes are a bit over the top in places but, hey, it’s an action packed work of fiction – it’s supposed to be a bit OTT at times.
And then we move on to the short story at the end, “A Dream Of Sherwood”. Again, difficult to talk about this without dropping spoilers but I really enjoyed it and had to stop for a second when I realised what I was reading. You may well be surprised too.
Verdict: The Robin Hood story has been a big thing for me for as long as I can remember so I am always wary when people start meddling with it but with Paul Kane’s Hooded Man series he has done a great job…..and Flaming Arrow is an excellent addition to the series. Highly recommended. 9/10