Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although I’m not hugely familiar with the story of Robin Hood, I was aware of its basic gist thanks to having watched the Disney version when I was little. You know wasn’t present in that version? Yep, that would be Will Scarlet. So for me, A.C. Gaughen’s Scarlet was an introduction to the character of Will in the form of a female and seeing how that affected her relationship with the Merry Men.

Scarlet was a really complex character; and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. She’s independent, smart, and knows how to wield knives (which I think is awesome) but is also impulsive, secretive – I kind of guessed her secret pretty early on – and prickly. Though she keeps threatening to walk away from Robin and the Merry Men, she’s totally loyal to the core. I thought Gaughen did a fantastic job of creating Scarlet’s first person voice as I could easily imagine her talking like a medieval peasant in my head.

As for the other characters, I thought Much was interesting but wasn’t too fond of Little John or Robin Hood. I didn’t like how controlling John was with Scarlet once he decided he was interested in her or how Robin only blamed Scarlet for messing the dynamics of their group just because he was jealous of her and John. As well, I thought the later portion of the book featured too much of the drama surrounding the love triangle and would have instead preferred more of the fantasy and action.

The other thing that I didn’t enjoy was the ending since it felt far too open-ended. After finishing Scarlet, I immediately went on Goodreads to see if it was the first book in a series but at this point, it's still listed as a standalone.  

Scarlet was released on February 14, 2012 by Walker Childrens.

Comments About the Cover: I love the design, and Scarlet is dressed exactly like how I’d picture a female Merry Man to look like.

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Walker Books for Young Readers) for free via NetGalley.


  1. I'm really surprised that you didn't like Robin! I totally had a crush on him. The version of Robin Hood that I remembered the most was the one with Kevin Costner and I think Christian Slater played Will Scarlet. I guess I didn't really see the love triangle because Scar was obviously not into John. As for John, I didn't think he loved her but loved the challenged she brought. I also hope there is another book or books to this series because I want to know what happens next.

  2. I absolutely adored this one, but obviously not every book is for everyone or reviewing books would be crazy boring:) I thought John was a bit controlling as well, but I loved Robin. I'm a sucker for the brooding, suffer in silence type though. I'm really hoping we get a second book, I feel like there is more to this story too!

    1. Sorry, I hit on the Reply rather than a new comment. So I deleted it but now feel like it looks weird so I have to say something to Jenny! So true about books being so subjective for everyone and it does make reviewing/discussing books more interesting!

      Okay...that's it. It doesn't look weird anymore...right?

  3. I like the sound of Scarlett. I love this time period and the Robin Hood legend so I'll be checking this one out. Great review!

  4. And FYI Zahida, I haven't been able to comment on your blog lately. I was about to send you an email but wanted to try one last time. Then it worked. Other than the "replying" mistake. Anyway, glad it's fixed now!

  5. Oh noes! It doesn't sound like either guy would give me much to swoon over, and you know me, if I can't swoon, I can't be bothered...


  6. Oh my gosh, you too, Z?? LOL! I fell in love with the Disney version of Robin Hood -- never read the original story! -- so I didn't know a thing about Will Scarlet either! x) That's why I was so interested in this book in the first place, and I'm glad to hear that it was a good introduction to Will's character! :) And Scarlet sounds like the smart and intriguing character to make this book interesting!

    Awesome review, Z! Even though neither boy swept you off your feet, this sounds like such a cool book! :)

  7. Uh oh. I was interested in this one until you mentioned it was left open-ended with no sequel. I hate that! Still, Scarlet sounds like an awesome MC. I will hopefully try to make time for this one... we'll see.

  8. Oh noes. I'm not a huge fan of open-ended endings usually. I've been wanting to give this a try though mostly because I love Robin Hood. Even though it didn't blow your mid it still sounds like a good read!

  9. Hm, open-ended but a standalone? Sounds like they may be waiting to see how this one does before announcing a sequel, maybe. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this overall, although I have trouble with controlling characters, too. Will be reading this soon, so look forward to comparing notes!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  10. Scarlett sounds like a great mc. Thanks for the review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  11. Scarlet sounds like a great female lead! Too bad about the love triangle kind of taking over in the latter part of the book :( I totally know what you mean about open endings, too. Sometimes I'm okay with them if they feel right for the story, but other times I totally want more closure. Overall, though, this one does sound like a fun read!


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