5 stars · favorite

Review ‘Scarlet’

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gughen
Series: Scarlet #1
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Historical fiction, Young adult
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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.

I rarely read retellings because it’s hard to find a really good one. This book originally got recommended to me by Goodreads based on Grave mercy, which absolutely loved. It took me probably two chapters to realize that this is a Robin Hood retelling. I know I was pretty sow there. But fortunately Scarlet is a fantastic and creative retelling of the original story. It’s a pretty genius idea to incorporate two characters into one shaking up the events a little.

Scarlett the main character is a complex and mysterious one. She has many sides and secrets. What I found really interesting about her is her relationship with John. Let’s just say she is hopeless when it’s about romance and love. I mean she obviously has feelings for Robin, but she desperately tries to deny them she also knows how she doesn’t feel about John yet she goes and let him in. She kind of led him on but in a clueless way. But she has problems not only with love but every other emotion too because no matter what she tries to stay isolated from the others. Everything good she does she does it in secret and at the same time she afflicts herself. She doesn’t want to be liked as if she punishes herself for something.
She also has an outstanding position among the members of the team, not only is she the best thief among the she is also the one who chooses their targets. Like a leader. I found this an original approach to the Robin Hood story.

I think one of the best solutions in this book is presented when slowly and minutely Scarlett past and secrets get revealed. I don’t usually like stories when there is the present/past thing goes on but ir it has such a deep impact and affects the storyline in the best possible way. When I was sure I know where the story keeps there is a bit of information about Scarlett past which kinda made me unsure, tipped me of balance so to say. Basically it kept me on my toes during the whole book.

For me the end of the book felt a bit unfinished but since there is two more books in the series it’s understandable. But honestly I never liked the ending of the original Robin Hood story either so there is nothing new. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.


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