Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet #1. Walker Childrens (Feb. 2012) Own
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.

Robin Hood is known for being this dashing, charming rogue who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. He's the most lovable thief in history - at least I think so. So what could be better than a Robin Hood retelling? A Robin Hood retelling with a twist. Will Scarlet is our main character - Robin's best friend. And Will is actually just Scarlet - a knife-wielding thief who just happen's to be a girl in disguise.

“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.” 

Scarlet is independent, moody, withdrawn, has trust issues, and cares about those around her suffering to a fault. She is basically all you can hope for in a noble thief. Her guard is always up around Robin, Little John, and Much. She doesn't want to get too close. Scarlet's past is clouded in mystery and it still affects her decisions today.

The people of Nottingham are suffering. Robin and his band are trying their hardest to save them from hunger and danger when they can't pay their taxes. A new person other than the sheriff shows up to shake things up. Someone from Scarlet's past who can't know who she really is.

“I do what I do because I will always believe that no matter how awful life gets for however many of these people, there is something I can do about it. There is something I will do about it.” 

After getting used to the strange way Scarlet talks, I easily got into the world where thieves are the good guys. Scarlet's personality and her constantly trying to prove herself made me love her. I really liked all the characters. Little John was a flirt who used his fists as weapons. Much is the underdog who has a few tricks up his sleeve. Robin is the brave leader that he's known for. The adventure and danger these four get into was always high risk and fun to read. It's what I hoped for and more. The only thing that bothered me was the focus on the romance. If you knew me then that sentence would be laughable. There was a love triangle that did not add to the story. I really wish it was just one pair of people being all angsty because the three of them didn't make sense. Overall I did enjoy the story and I'm happy with all the adventure, action, peril, and friendships made. I'm sure the next book is going to be even better.


  1. I enjoyed Scarlet too! It took a unique twist on the classic story of Robin Hood. I loved seeing Robin as his crew saw him, like he is not always the perfect hero everyone thinks. Even though I enjoyed the new insight to the story, I did find the romance to distract from the story. From the first page of the novel, I knew who Scarlet was going to end up with. So, for me, the love triangle thing was completely unnecessary. I have not read the rest of the series yet, but I am hoping to soon! Great review!

  2. I have heard quite a few good things about this one! I am glad you liked it. I love a good retelling.

  3. I almost picked this one up at the library last week- but I decided to wait because I had other books I was getting and I am so busy at work. Looks like I should get it next time! Loved reading your review. :)


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