Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: A Young Adult Book Review Involving Swords, Robin Hood, and a Girl in Disguise

Book Review, Young Adult Books
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. A YA historical fiction about Robin Hood. Young Adult literature book review. |

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Age Range: 12 and up | Series: Scarlet #1 | Hardcover: 304 pages | Publisher: Walker Childrens (February 14, 2012)

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About the Book

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.


Find the Book

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. A YA historical fiction about Robin Hood. Young Adult literature book review. |

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository


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 the 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 into 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 Book Review of 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. But 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. While not difficult to read, it takes 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.

Source: I bought this book.



*Read my review of Lady Thief, Book 2 in the Scarlet series.

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  • Reply
    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind
    December 9, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Scarlet is Will Scarlet…. I thought she was going to be Robin haha.
    It looks like she has a thing for Robin. I like that she worries about her modesty because it works with the time it first came out or at least when the book is set. I’m happy you liked Scarlet. I’ve heard so-so things about it, but I’ve wanted to read it forever.

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      December 9, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      That’s what I thought at first too, but I actually liked her as Will Scarlet better. I ended up liking the book more than I thought I would. Scarlet was a good character.

  • Reply
    Lady Thief: Young Adult Review - Batch of Books
    December 21, 2015 at 8:03 am

    […] See my review for Scarlet here. […]

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