Thursday, May 31, 2012


Scarlet A.C. Gaughen Robin Hood retelling review summaryScarlet

By A.C. Gaughen

Walker & Co., 2012. 292 pgs. Teen fiction


Will Scarlet is Robin Hood's right-hand man, an expert thief, who snatches food and riches to help the people from starving or being dragged off to prison as the sheriff of Nottingham subjects them to extreme taxation. He is also an expert knife-thrower and can sneak in and out of just about anywhere without being seen. But he is really a she, and she has a past that she doesn't want anyone to know about. While Robin and the other members of their small band--John Little and Much--know she's a girl, they don't know what Scarlet is hiding from. Then Guy of Gisbourne, the infamous thief catcher, is hired by the sheriff to find Robin and his band, and Scarlet's face comes back to haunt her. As she struggles with her past, she also must decide what she wants for her future, as John Little has turned his eye on her and Robin has a way of unsettling her like no one else can.


With lots of action, a quick-moving plot, and a love triangle, this retelling of the Robin Hood legend is fun from start to finish. Readers will probably be able to guess early on who Scarlet really is, but that doesn't detract from the unfolding of the additional details about who she is and what she has experienced. There's kind of a lot of emotional baggage--both Scarlet and Robin are tormented by their pasts and feel they've failed everyone around them--but it isn't dumped on readers all at once; there's plenty of action to break it up as the outlaws snatch riches and orchestrate rescues and all sorts of law-breaking for the sake of the people they love.

This is one that will leave readers hoping there's a sequel, because they won't be ready to say good-bye to Scarlet, Robin, or the rest of the characters.

Some violence and a little bit of language, but nothing too bad.

4.5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment