A. C. Gaughen
Publisher: Bloomsbury Walker
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Source: Hardcover from ALA
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
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. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff 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.
I love Robin Hood. That being said, it’ll come as no surprise that I was extremely excited for Scarlet.
Luckily for me, A. C. Gaughen’s historical retelling of the age-old tale is as good as it can get. I’ve personally liked Will the most out of the whole lot (and Robin, of course!), so to see a whole new of side of him, or her, was amazing.
Will Scarlet is actually a girl, though not everyone knows that. Except to her bandmates and a selected few, Will Scarlet is ‘nothing but a whip of a lad’. Life as a theiving outlaw is perfect. But Scarlet has her secrets, a past she would rather keep hidden. And when her past shows up in the present, in the form of the notorious Guy of Gisbourne, Scarlet may not be as brave as she wants.
Scarlet, the character herself, was dynamic. She’s a character you can picture in your mind, from the way she whips out her knives with scarlet ribbons to the way her face reddens in a blush. She narrates the story, and the dialect is her own. She might have been short-tempered and grumpy at times, but overall, I loved her.
The plot line was wonderful, taking Robin and his merrymen and throwing them into a tight plot. The dreaded tax day is fast approaching, a new theif-taker is on his way, and new feelings are stirring up amongst the band of four. There were a lot of similarities between the original (how many originals are there, anyway??) and Scarlet, there were just as many unique parts to it as well.
I wish I could go back and read Scarlet again for the first time, a lot slower so it won’t finish before I know it. It was good, really, really, really good. A. C. Gaughen has woven a tale between the covers of Scarlet that’s perfect for lovers of historical fiction and anyone looking for an enjoyable read.
Trust me, Scarlet is a must-read. I mean, who doesn’t love Robin Hood??