Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: February 14, 2012
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | eBay | IndieBound
Synopsis: Robin Hood is given a fresh, feminine twist in this romantic retelling from the point of view of “Will Scarlet”
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance, from debut author A. C. Gaughen. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. When the heat turns on up the band of thieves as the Sheriff of Nottingham seeks revenge, the romance burns strong between Scarlet and her flirtatious fellow outlaws. Helping the people of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Scarlet is the beautiful retelling by debut author A.C. Gaughen. Gaughen retells the story of Robin Hood and his merry men of Sherlock Forest. The cover is gorgeous, depicting a different version of Scarlet, or Will Scarlet, as you and I may have come to known.
Gaughen’s Scarlet is about Robin, the Early of Locksley, who returns home to England after his service in the war. With King Richard still at war, Robin has come home to not to his earldom, but instead outlawed. Along with Robin, a few have banded together to steal from the rich and help the poor. There are details that I cannot tell you, for it will spoil many things, so I apologize now for the vague review.
Scarlet is a great character to know. Gaughen wrote this character so well. Scarlet is snarky, fierce, and very loyal – all while having a deep spiritual connection with the forest. The people of Nottingham know Scarlet for her famous knife-wielding skills and as a cunning thief among the Hood. She is a risk taker. What they don’t know is that Scarlet is really a female. It keeps her persona a mystery, and who she is a secret. Unfortunately, Scarlet is filled with many more secrets, some that endanger Robin and the rest of the merry men.
I loved the characters in Scarlet. From Robin to the Sheriff, every single character had a unique and individual voice. And one of my favorite characters? The forest. The fact that they are able to feel the energy of the forest. There’s something hard to understand, but it gave me, the reader, a sensation and that’s a thrill in itself. Gaughen understood the forest and brought the forest to live for me.
I instantly loved Scarlet. From the few words that she spoke, I knew that I would love her and this story. The narration compares to none. It was distinct and well written, allowing for an easy and fluent pacing. The storyline was unique and intriguing, and definitely had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I cheered for the good guys, jeered for the bad, and above all else swooned in all the right moments.
While Gaughen brought familiarity in the setting of Scarlet, I felt that the world was different and her own. The imagery of the town, to the details of the people, it was easy for me to escape from Nottingham and into Sherwood Forest. She evoked an emotion, a reaction, without having physically been to the forest.
I highly urge you to pick up and read Scarlet as soon as possible. You will fall in love with Scarlet, and with Robin. Trust me, you will enjoy this one.