Review: SCARLET by A. C. Gaughen

A. C. Gaughen
304 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Walker
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Source: Hardcover from ALA
Rating: LOVED

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??

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    It seems awesome i've never heard of it so thanks for this great review :D ! I love Robin Hood as well I really need to buy this book now thanks to you ;).

  2. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    And it's a stunning cover I like her face !

  3. Reply

    Little Miss Becky : )

    February 11, 2012

    I'm just starting this one, and already I love the writing. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  4. Reply

    Dizneeee (Lisa)

    February 11, 2012

    YAY! I'm glad you liked it! I have been waiting for this one for a while. The cover is so neat and the synopsis made me add it to my list immediately! Glad it comes out this week!!!!

  5. Reply

    Amy @ bookgoonie

    February 11, 2012

    Pretty excited about this one.

  6. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    I love Robin Hood too, and I put this on my TBR list a while ago. Your review is great, it sounds excellent!

  7. Reply

    Dazzling Mage

    February 11, 2012

    I love the cover for this one, and I'm glad you liked it! =)

    Adding it to my oh-so-very long list.

  8. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    I've heard such great things about Scarlet! Thank you for the great review, and now I'm looking forward to Scarlet even more. =)

  9. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    I was really excited to hear about this one and I'm glad you liked it! I'm looking forward to reading it myself. Thanks!

  10. Reply

    Lauren M

    February 11, 2012

    I LOVED Scarlet! So glad to see you did, too! Scarlet was just so spunky and kick-butt! I love the story, too. Great review, Hafsah! :)

  11. Reply

    ashelynn hetland

    February 11, 2012

    Great review! This is one book I'm torn between wanting to read and not–it sounds good, but I haven't read a lot of reviews for it. Your review pushes me closer to the want to read it, though!

    Ashelynn @ Gypsy Book Reviews.

  12. Reply


    February 11, 2012

    I loved Scarlet! So glad you loved it. Great review!

  13. Reply

    Marmaladelibby (aka Ange)

    February 11, 2012

    CAN'T WAIT to try this one!! So jealous that you got it already! It was my Waiting on Wednesday last week!

  14. Reply


    February 12, 2012

    The cover!!! So drool worthy. I have to say Robin Hood is one of my favorite classic tales so reboots of the story generally have to have something unique about them to intrigue me. I think Scarlet might just have that quality, it sounds very good!

  15. Reply


    February 12, 2012

    I definitely agree with you – I loved every second I was reading this book! The characters were all fantastic and I couldn't get enough of the story.

    I'm glad you loved it just as much as I did!

  16. Reply

    Julia :)

    February 13, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book too! The awkward sorta love triangle kinda bothered me but overall it was great. :)

  17. Reply


    February 13, 2012

    I hadn't even heard about this before now, but I LOVE the tale of Robin Hood, so this definitely just got preordered for tomorrow. I'm so exctied to stare at my Kindle tonight at 11pm (yey timezone cheat!) and see it download.

  18. Reply


    February 17, 2012

    Sounds like a really good book! =)

  19. Reply


    February 17, 2012

    I've been hearing a lot about this book and I'm so excited! I love Robin Hood and this book sounds so fantastic! Thanks for the great review…I can't wait to pick up a copy of this book :-D

  20. Reply

    Candace @ Lovey Dovey Books

    February 20, 2012

    I love a story with a female lead who's got a mind of her own. Scarlet is definitely going in my shopping cart! Thanks for the review :)

  21. Reply


    March 9, 2012

    I love all things Robin Hood! I think I've watched every single movie and tv show about Robin Hood,but I haven't seen many books about. I'm really excited about reading this now!

  22. Reply


    October 20, 2012

    I seriously need to read this book. I've been trying to get my hands on it but no luck. It sounds so fabulous!!! Really glad you loved it.

  23. Reply


    October 30, 2012

    Honestly, I'm glad you loved it! Because I did too. I actually won a copy from the author in one of her giveaways (thanks again, if she sees this) and it was such a fun & refreshing read. I really hope to see more work from her in the future.

    Might have to pick it up again and read it a 2nd time after this review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as always.

    ~ Kristi

  24. Reply


    November 18, 2012

    This is the first review I have read on this book. It sounds amazing. I would love to get my hands on this!