Author: A.C Gaughen
Publisher: Walkers Children
Publisher Date: Feb 26, 2013
I am not receiving any monetary benefit or any kickback for this review. I bought this book to own and enjoy.
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I have to admit I love any book to do with Robin Hood or his merry band. But it was the description and the cover of the book that drew me in initially. I mean the blurb on the back was eye catching. The whole cover was nice. Scarlet on the front with a knife, black with red lettering. It was just very pleasing.
“No really knows ‘bout me. I’m Rob’s secret. I’m his informant, I’m his shadow in dark places. No one ever takes me for more than a knockabout lad, a whip of a boy. They never really see…” –Back of the cover
Finally! A book about Will Scarlet or in this book Scarlet. Scarlet is good at many things but her well known abilities are stealing and being quick with her knives. But she is also good at keeping secrets. Scarlet’s two biggest secrets are that the scruffy scrap of a thief is a girl, and the second is not known until closer to the end of the book.Which I’m not gonna tell. I absolutely adore this book; imperfections and all. The way A.C Gaughen portrays Scarlet and every character is awesome. They are balanced with bad qualities and good. Scarlet is full of twists and surprises. Unfortunately, it does have the love triangle of doom. At first, I was mad because all the time Scarlet is mooning over Robin, but she cuddles up and kisses on Little John? Really Scarlet, talk about a letdown. Let’s put the guy who is kissing on every girl who is interested as a love interest to a strong character.
Now don’t get me wrong, Scarlet is a strong character and very much an anti-hero. She was very independent and did not let the boys coddle her. But she was self-sacrificing to a dangerous point that usually ended up being a useless anyway. Let’s not eat ever because there are villagers who have less. Okay… So Scarlet use your awesome skills and get them more food!
Back on topic…I kind of wish she was bit more cocky and self-confident. But I still loved her and lived through the story with her. She is tough and brave. She faces her fears as they come. But she shatters into small pieces when she receives a harsh word from Robin or from the villagers who disparage her for being a thief and for girls liking her. Each time Rob broke Scarlet’s heart I just wanted to smack him and cry.
Robin and his attitude drove me nuts. One minute he is caring, and nice towards Scarlet; then the next he is giving the cold shoulder or being crotchety. His jealously and issues with Scarlet and Little john is obviously jealously but he just pushed too much of his issues on to Scarlet. She was obviously loyal and would follow him anywhere. But I loved that he wasn’t a perfect hero on a pedestal. He had bad qualities.
Okay, so this review is getting long. Sum up: Gaughen’s writing is mesmerizing and it entranced me throughout. So five out five for this book. I love it and you will too if you like the Robin Hood myth and new takes on it. Especially if you are like me: a big sucker for any book with a thief or about myths and fairy-tales. A nice addition to the genre of Robin Hood retelling. This is definite recommend. This book contained 287 pages and took me 2.5 hours to read. Go check this book out and check out its sequel. Which is Lady Thief and then followed by Lionheart. This review is cross-posted on Amazon and Goodreads.