Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: Scarlet

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Publisher:Walker Childrens
Pages: 287 pages
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description: Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets - skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood's band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet's biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know...that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl.
The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more - making this a fight worth dying for.

I recommend this book for fans of:
-Fairy Tale retellings
-Robin Hood
-Once Upon A Time (ABC TV series)
-Peter Pan or Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

            Flash back to two weeks ago, when I was at the Boldly Bookish tour in Naperville, Illinois where Emery Lord, A.C. Gaughen, Trish Dollar, and Tiffany Schmidt were signing books.  Mostly I went to see Emery Lord and meet a few blogger friends. When we were sitting down at the beginning and it came time for each author to give a quick description of their books, A.C. Gaughen caught my attention when she started to talk about her series, Scarlet.  As soon as I heard it was a retelling of Robin Hood with a strong female protagonist, I knew I needed to grab at least the first book in the series and give it a go.  Cue panic, a mad dash to the front of the bookstore to purchase all 3 of the books in the series, and then a sprint to the signing line. 
            Fast-forward two weeks when I finally picked up the first book in the series, called Scarlet.  At first, I had a hard time getting into this book because of the dialect.  The main character, Scarlet, speaks pretty rough English and it threw me for the first twenty or so pages.  After that though, I started to get used to it pretty quickly and it didn’t bother me as much.  I think once you get to know Scarlet’s personality and background as you read more of the book, you realize how much her dialect is reflective of her character and I couldn’t picture her without it now.  Initially though, this was my only complaint about the book.
            I loved the setting of the book and the way Scarlet and the band of boys live. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the book Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (sorry, I know it’s beloved by many), I do believe many people who loved that book will also enjoy this series.  Scarlet and the band, which includes Rob (Aka Robin Hood), John, and Much, live in the woods.  Sometimes they camp out in the trees or in a cave that only they know about.  It reminded me of Tiger Lily and the lost boys, who spent a lot of time in the trees running around and playing games.  In fact, Scarlet and Tiger Lily had a lot in common and their similarities crossed my mind a few times as I was reading this.
            Another aspect of Scarlet that I really enjoyed was the historical background that was included in the book, and how Gaughen tied it into the storyline.  I was really impressed with the amount of research that seemed to go into this book, and I also loved the fact that she explained some of this research and the context in which it was used in an author’s note at the end of the book.  I learned a lot about England during the time period in which this story is based, which is commonly believed to have been during the Crusades, when the legends and stories of a thief named Robin Hood started to surface. 
            As far as fairy tale retellings go, I was thoroughly impressed.  This is my favorite retelling of Robin Hood I’ve read yet, and I wasn’t even put off by the love triangle that takes place in the book.  I’ve already started reading the second book in the series, Lady Thief, and I will post a review shortly!



  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I got to meet AC Gaughen at the Boston Teen Author Festival and she signed my copy of SCARLET which I unfortunately still have not read :( Need to soon though! Heard too many amazing things to pass this one up :P Great review :D

    1. i hope you get around to reading it soon Rabiah! it's extremely good! i wish i had started the series sooner! thanks for checking out my review!

  2. I too found it hard to get into how Scarlet spoke when I first read this but I got used to it. I gave this five stars as well although I reeeeeally disliked a lot of the characters, including Robin unfortunately. I hope you enjoy the second one.

    1. AHHH I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T LIKE ROB! that makes me so sad! Eleanor was the only character I really had an issue with for the most part, but i know she doesn't make an appearance in this book yet! thanks for checking out my review Patty!


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