Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publish Date: Feb 14 2012
Scarlet, written by A.C. Gaughen, tells the story of eighteen year old Scarlet, a girl who is pretending to be a boy.
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. ~ Courtesy of GoodreadsI first heard about Scarlet when I stumbled upon it on Goodreads. I have always been a fan of Robin Hood, but never found a retelling that I really connected with. But as soon as I turned the first page of Scarlet I was in love. Robin is a hero that you want to love, and Scarlet is a heroine you can truly admire. She is tough in a time when girls weren't usually thought to be tough. She fits right in with Robin's band of Merry Men. She can hold her own in a fight, sometimes better than the boys can. She is a female character that girls can look to as a role model. She might be a thief, but she always does the right thing.
Romance is a factor in Scarlet, but it's not the key factor. Even though Scarlet is part of a (sort of) love triangle, that's not what she focuses on. Honestly, she doesn't have time, what with trying to save an entire town from an evil Sheriff. She's got bigger things to worry about than boys.
Scarlet's world is so beautifully written you feel as if you really are back in the time of the Crusades. Gaughen's writing really immerses her characters in their world. She includes all of the characters from the legends (with some twists) and fitted it to be a great YA novel. If you like the story of Robin Hood, you will love this masterful retelling.
Honestly, it's one of the best books I've read in a long time, and I've read a few I've really loved recently. If you're a fan of well meaning thieves or assassins, this is the book for you. Gaughen's Scarlet absorbs you so fully in Scarlet's tale that it's almost impossible to put down.