Aug 9, 2012

Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

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.

I was captivated by the cover of Scarlet when it was first released in February, but for some reason, I was kinda hesitant to read a story based on the legend of Robin Hood. I can't really pinpoint the reason why. Maybe I didn't want to ruin the original story I've always known, maybe I thought it would be a little hokey. Either way, I was completely and utterly wrong in my inklings, and for that, I sincerely apologize.

Scarlet is my new hero. She's kick-ass, courageous, smart, and doesn't take even an ounce of crap from anyone. Her voice is the most distinct, using a language that takes some getting used to, but makes her character and surrounds all the more realistic and believable. She's flawed though, as any great character should be, as her self-esteem seems to plummet into the abyss time and time again. She doesn't believe she deserves...well anything really except to keep doing what she's doing and atone for whatever horrible deed she believes she's committed.

There's a tiny little love triangle ~ c'mon, you know you love the drama ~ but we all know where her heart truly lies even if she doesn't. I think the triangle forms out of Scarlet needing to be loved as every human being does, but she doesn't think she deserves to have what she really desires. The romantic parts of the story play a big role in Scarlet resolving her issues, but they don't dominate ~ something I've always loved in a story.

A.C. Gaughen's writing style is quite simply stunning, commanding the reader's attention with every turn of the page. It's really something when you can imagine everything going on around the main character from the bustling crowds of the market to the silent darkness that envelops the very tops of the trees Scarlet likes to climb. Not only that, but I felt every emotion Scarlet was experiencing with such clarity, I found myself reading paragraphs over and over again just because I was astonished at how the feelings emanated from the page.

Such a clever take on the story of Robin Hood. From the point of view of Will Scarlet who is not really Will Scarlet? I don't know how I ever resisted before. It's definitely changed my view of the story, something I was initially afraid of, but I found that I'm more interested in the story than ever before. I see Robin and John Little in a different light, definitely more human than legend in my eyes now, flawed but heroic. And the troubles that the band goes through to make sure their people are safe and care for ~ sometimes the harshness of their work makes you wonder how they hold on to the heart to keep it up. It's intense, tough, emotional work.

This book is probably, without a doubt, my favorite so far this year. It just grabbed at me, took hold, and still hasn't let go. It's almost hard to put into words. You just have to read it.


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Happy Reading Everyone :)

~ Keely ~

P.S. Some great books this year (this one at the top of the list) as I realized I don't remember the last time I gave a negative review. I'm lovin' it!


  1. I love a kick ass heroine!!
    Scarlet sounds likeMy kind of woman, and my kind of book!! :)

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    BTW- I know how you feel about not remembering the last time you wrote a negative review!! :)
    LOVE the feeling and IM glad thats what youre going through right now!

  2. Anonymous8/09/2012

    Oh my God, we're book twins! I just finished this one as well, and your review felt really spot on! Haha, definitely my new fave kick ass heroine, maybe one of my all time favourites from now on. 100% agree with you on the writing, it really was stunning and completely captivating! Fantastic review !! <3

  3. Thanks!! It really is a fabulous read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone :) Love being able to give a glowing review!


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