Release date: 2012
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Themes: Action & Adventure, Re-tellings, Robin Hood, Friendship, Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Why did I read it?: Recommended to me
Gaughen, A.C. Scarlet. Bloomsbury USA Children’s, 2012. Print. Digital.
Formats available: Digital, Hardcover, Paperback (amazon.com) **Currently only $2.40 on Amazon Digital**
Synopsis (from amazon.com)
But Scarlet’s instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it’s not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves
Re-tellings are very big right now. We are seeing a lot of fairy tale retellings in the YA sector recently, and it is a trend that I personally enjoy. I love when an author takes a story you already know, and turns it on its head. You go into it knowing that there will be major twists, but you don’t get to know what they will be. Scarlet is a re-telling of the Robin Hood legend, where Robin’s pal Will Scarlet is a girl named Scarlet, who disguises herself as a boy. One of the things I enjoyed is that is steers clear of some of the typical tropes used in the “girl disguised as a boy” storyline, which kept the plot fresh. For instance, while the average villager thinks she is a boy, her two love interests know she is a girl the whole time. So we avoid the overplayed “oh my gosh, you’re a girl!” aspect from the love interests.
One of the things I loved about this story is that we get to see medieval England through the eyes of a young woman who is living as a young man. We get to take part as she ruminates about the different avenues in life that are available to her as a “boy,” which would not be available to her as a girl. So the story includes a gentle discussion of gender roles during this historical period. Plus we get to see a pretty believable, and yet still kick-butt heroine who saves people while running from her dark and mysterious past.
An overall enjoyable read that had me reaching for the sequel in this completed trilogy.
Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next book in the series is called Lady Thief.
In the meantime you might like to try:
- Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas (links to my review)
- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas (links to my review)
- Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers (links to my review)
About the Author:
Visit A.C. Gaughen’s author website to learn more about her.
I have a copy of this still sitting unread on my shelf, though there really is no reason why I haven’t read it yet (other than a too-long TBR list lol!). Glad you enjoyed it, though! And it does sound exactly like the kind of book I’d love.