Sunday, 5 August 2012

Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A. C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Released: February 2012
Summary: 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. Goodreads | Amazon 

Scarlet is a fresh and thrilling take on the well known tale of Robin Hood and his band of merry man. This is an adventurous read, with a historical setting and charming (and at times infuriating!) characters.   

The novel is narrated from the point of view of Scarlet, a member of Robin's band who disguises herself as a boy and carefully guards her true identity. Scarlet is a fierce heroine who can fight with the best of them and wields a mean set of knives. I love to see strong female characters who can fight their own battles, so on that front this novel won me over, as did Scarlet's unique narrative voice. And although Scarlet is tough-as-nails she is still vulnerable and riddled by her own fears which made her a more compelling and interesting character. 

The arrival of ultimate baddie and 'Thief-Taker' Lord Gisbourne, sets the pace of the action for the story but it is the characters that really drive this novel. The tension and budding romance between Scarlet and Robin was one of my favourite aspects of this book. One of my major grievances with this novel is that it had the dreaded YA Love Triangle and the to-ing and fro-ing between various love interests got a bit tiring towards the end. I wasn't wholly satisfied by the ending, and it seems like it should have a sequel, but there is currently no information that this is in the works. In saying that, I would definitely love to read the sequel of this so *fingers crossed*. 

While not as epic as other historical tales with strong women, a la Tamora Peirce's Song of the Lioness series, Scarlet holds it own as an entertaining and adventurous read. 

If you've read this, what are your thoughts on it? 
If not, what's your favourite historical novel? 


  1. Hey! I was wondering how you got that 'bubble' around the summary for the book? Thanks! Great review!

    1. Thanks :) I'm not really great with html stuff and I just learnt how to do most things on my blog by googling it and following instructions. Here is a good link that might be able to help you out Rounded Text Box

    2. Thanks I've been trying to figure that out for a while.

    3. No problem. Glad I could help :)

  2. I've seen this one. My blogger friend actually loved it and I've been to check it out, but i haven't. :( It sounds wonderful with the fierce heroine. I've read Tamora Pierce's other quartet, Wild Magic, have you read that one?

    Thanks for the follow! I am now a new follower. :)

  3. Brilliant Review! The concept of the novel sounds very interesting and the characters sound great. I'm not much of a fan of love triangles either!
    I absolutely love historical fiction!
    - Alex


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