Age Range: 12 and up
Series: Scarlet #1
Genre: Historical fiction
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens (February 14, 2012)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
About A.C. Gaughen:
I’ve been madly in love with writing since I was in kindergarten. Not kidding-some of my earliest memories revolve around books and writing, like reading in front of the class, reading with my mother, and writing a story in first grade that was so funny (it dealt with a gorilla finding someone naked in the shower, and was, sadly, the culmination of my humor writing skills) it got me kicked out of class. Which was also the first and last time for that.
No that’s a lie. In third grade I got detention for ripping bark off a tree.
I know, I’m a rebel.
From there, it was a long road. I wrote all through middle school and starting submitting novels (I hope I still have those very kind, gentle rejection letters somewhere) when I was thirteen. ACK you have no idea how bad those novels looked. All through high school I was writing in a notebook instead of taking class notes (explaining the less than perfect GPA). It was always novels for me-the first time I seriously wrote short stories was at the end of my college career, to get into my graduate program, and it felt awkward and weird.
But I got in to grad school, wrote like a fiend, and when I graduated I spent three miserable years as a freelance writer while working on several different novels. I wrote them, prepped them, submitted them, and kept on working, because as far as I can tell, the actual writing is the only thing that i can control, and it’s the part that really makes me happy.
My Thoughts on Scarlet:
Scarlet is a re-imagined version of the Robin Hood legend. Like Will in Scarlet, the main character is Robin’s sidekick, Will Scarlet. But in this version, Scarlet is a girl. A gritty, intelligent, knife wielding girl that never backs down from a fight. She’s a tough nut, full of secrets and always keeping everyone at arm’s length. She has a tender side, too. She wants to be accepted by Robin and his gang, and she’s very concerned with her modesty. She also worries about her soul and where she stands with God. Scarlet is a complex and interesting character that is a lot of fun to read about.
It took me a few chapters to get into this book because it’s written in the first person and Scarlet speaks in a commoner’s dialect. It wasn’t difficult to read, but it did take some getting used to. The story itself was exciting — full of action, adventure, and a little romance. It follows the typical tale of Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to feed the poor. It was pretty violent in places, with some gruesome deaths.
If you or your teen likes historical fiction, adventure, and suspense, give this book a try. I really enjoyed it. It’s well written, researched, and executed.
Content: Violence and an attempted rape