Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publication Date:  February 14th, 2012
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Source: Bought it
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets - skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood's band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet's biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know...that she is posing as a thief; that the slip of a boy who is fast with sharp knives is really a girl.

The terrible events in her past that led Scarlet to hide her real identity are in danger of being exposed when the thief taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in a put innocent lives at risk, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more - making this a fight worth dying for.

I know what it's like when you can't get no one to listen to you. When what you say don't matter. I half think every girl knows what it's like to be silenced."
This was as good as I remembered. I absolutely love the story of Robin Hood. It has always resonated with me. I love both the BBC Show and the Disney movie, for me they both showcase the story in different ways. While Scarlet is a Robin Hood retelling, A. C. Gaughen puts her own flair on the story. The cast of characters is roughly the same, however he have Will Scarlet who is actually a girl. When this book begins it is only Robin and his lads that know Scarlet is actually a girl. 

First, I want to talk about the writing style. When you first start this book, it can be extremely off-putting because it sounds and looks wrong, but after a bit you get used to it and it is less noticeable. But I applaud A. C. Gaughen's ability to write so flawlessly and consistently in this Old English style. The writing is definitely authentic to the time period of the Crusades. While the writing is a small aspect overall, I loved the detail that went into making it authentic for the time period. 

As for the characters, I have a lot of thoughts. For Scarlet, she is definitely an extremely flawed character, there is a lot from her past that she is hiding from everyone. She is ashamed and blames herself for a lot of the outcomes. This hatred causes her to shut down and hide herself from everyone around her, even the ones who love her. While I respected Scarlet's desire to help save and protect the townspeople, her hatred and reasoning for it made her a weaker character in my mind. I also appreciated that she did not let the other guys tell her what to do and constantly protect her. 

Robin. Robin is one of those characters that you cannot help but love. He does everything for the people and takes any and all risks to keep them safe. While it was clear he loved Scarlet, I disliked the way he went about it. Calling her a whore and constantly ragging on her about John was really annoying.

John. He was definitely my least favorite character. He was overly flirtatious and totally obnoxious to Scarlet. Luckily the romance (and ridiculous love triangle) were such as small aspect of the book and my dislike of his character did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book.

Much. For me Much and Allan a Dale have always been my favorite outlaws. While we do not get to see Allan a Dale in this book, we do get Much. Much was one of the best "main" characters in this book. He does not have a big role but he is the voice of reason a lot and does give Scarlet someone to talk to and practice with.

Overall, this book was really enjoyable for me. There may be some flaws with the plot overall, but I love the adventure and the story. This book definitely leaves a lot of unanswered questions and I cannot wait to pick up Lady Thief.

First read April 2012

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