Thursday, 8 March 2012

Scarlet - Book Review

Scarlet– Book Review
A.C Gaughen
YA Historical  

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.

Everyone has heard Robin Hood’s dashing, knife-wielding companion Will Scarlet. Yet what few people know is that this daring, pick pocketing thief - is actually a girl. Presenting herself as boy, Scarlet does her best to hide her feminine charms from the world - only Robin and his band of men know the secret of Scarlet’s true gender . Yet her other secrets, who she is and where she came from, even they don’t know – and not even Robins handsome charms can make her tell him the truth.  Yet, when thief taker Guy of Gisbourne is hired to rid Nottinghamshire of its infamous bandits, Scarlet soon finds her past catching up with her. Only this time, she can’t run away. 
A.C Gaughen’s debut novel ‘Scarlet’ completely swept me away. Based on the renowned tale of Robin Hood, the author gives a completely fresh spin to an old, much loved tale, while keeping true to the classic aspects of this legendary story. I can honestly say I adored this book and found it next to impossible to put down.
 Scarlet is a real kick-ass heroine with her impulsive tendencies, bravery and tough-as-nails character. Her selflessness itself is one of her greatest flaws, especially when she strives to help the people of Nottinghamshire - despite the lack of appreciation she is often shown in return.  From the very first page, readers will find themselves captivated by Scarlet’s unique ‘voice’, which is not only consistent throughout the story, but adds an atmospheric quality to the book which really helps place your mind in the crusading era.
I also loved the simmering romance that burns slowly throughout the story. Torn between her admiration for Robin and the flirtatious attentions of Little John, Scarlet’s reactions of confusion/embarrassment and avoidance were both realistic and amusing to read.
My only criticism, is that this is a standalone novel. When I turned the last page, I wasn’t quite ready for the story to end. I did however think that the ending was left rather open so hopefully in the future there may be a sequel, especially as I feel like Scarlet’s adventures are not quite over.
So overall, I really enjoyed this book. Using small clues and hints, the author certainly keeps you on your toes guessing about the direction of the plot, romance and character motivations throughout the entire story (which is frustrating, but in really good way). Therefore I would recommend this novel to any fans of Theresa Tomlinson or Tamora Pierce - or just to anyone who enjoys reading about a strong, spunky heroines in general, because Scarlet is way up there with the best of them.
Charming, edgy and knife-throwingly good, A.C Gaughen puts a believable new twist to an old tale.  So far ‘Scarlet’ is definitely my favourite read of 2012!


  1. Great review. I just finished reading Scarlet also and I loved it! I agree with the open ending - I think a sequel is needed.

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

  3. I have wanted to read this book for ages! Glad you enjoyed it, and it looks exactly like something I'd love :)

    1. Its a great book - but the voice definitely takes some getting used to. I still need to pick up the sequel... I just never seem to get around to sequels :(