Author: A.C. Gaughen
Genre: Historical fiction, retelling, young adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 basically read this book in one sitting at the airport. Part of the reason why was because I was bored out of my mind at the airport, but a bigger part was because of how addicting this book was. A Robin Hood retelling where Will Scarlet is a girl masquerading as a boy? YES.
I'm not supremely familiar with the original Robin Hood and all the minor characters, so I'm not sure how well this book follows the original story line. I also have no idea how historically accurate this was. I do know that this book did an excellent job of building an atmosphere that made me believe in this version of Robin Hood. I know a lot of people found Scarlet's dialect annoying (especially considering the first person narration), but I didn't think it was too distracting and it kept the story moving along.
Scarlet is such a badass, and I loved how her weapon of choice was throwing knives. It fits her character so well; she likes to move quickly and takes whatever shots she can get. She's a quick-fingered thief and quick-witted too. It was endearing to see how much she cared about other people in the village and how she used what skills she had to help empower other girls.
There was a little more drama than I would have liked involving Little John, Robin, and Scarlet (it's not quite a love triangle but it's pretty close), but there was enough going on otherwise to keep me happy. There are vengeful sheriffs and past secrets and lots of political maneuvering.
I would recommend this to people looking for a quick and entertaining Robin Hood story.