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 love books that take a good legend and spin it around, putting a brand new edge on it and so when I read the blurb for this I knew that I had to read it. It wasn't a book that I got into straight away but when I did I could not put it down. 

With a story line that is so new and fully of action, secrets and romance but still completely recognisable as the Robin Hood tale that we all know and love, just with a female twist. The characters were similar to those in the old legend. The courageous and strong Robin Hood is just as honourable, despite being a bit more angsty and a lot more swoonworthy, Little John is still big and strong, but now he has a heart of gold. much wasn't as well developed as I liked, but he was still a nice character. There were some nasty villains as well, Gisbourne was darned scary and I was actually terrified of him.

Don't think that this is a fun book though, if you want the Robin Hood from the Disney movie look somewhere else. The world here is a bleak one, with poverty and capital punishment and rape and arranged marriages, it isn't graphical but it isn't light and despite some funny scenes there's also a lot of darkness in this book. 

The light in this book came from the amazing, well written romance. There are two potential suitors for our girl Scarlet, but this isn't a love triangle because we know and it;s made obvious exactly which way our girl's heart bends. There are some fun scenes, some sad scenes, some romantic scenes and  some scenes where I was sat there screaming in my head "Just kiss already" but it ended well. The book ends on a questionable note; there's something that could potential be in the way of their relationship but at the same time it ends on a hint of hope.

Overall, an action packed, romantic read. I can't believe how much I loved this book. It was dark and tense but well written and believable. At times, the pacing dropped a little and it did take me some time to get into it.

Overall Rating: B+

Book to be released by Bloomsbury Childrens on 14th February 2012.
Book received in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley

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