Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review: Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)

Title: Scarlet (Scarlet #1)
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Genre: YA Historical fiction
Pub. Date: February 14, 2012

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.

You know, I was so tempted to write a review consisting entirely of ZOMG's and using caps lock to emphasize how much I love this book. But I know that will either a) bore all of you to death or b) embarrass myself. Now that I can think clearly and trust myself to write a readable review, I shall continue.

Scarlet is a retelling of the much-loved story, Robin Hood. The author's take on this story is nothing short of brilliant and unique. Robin Hood's infamous companion, Will Scarlet, is actually a girl -- who is the main protagonist.

Actually, what I appreciated most about this story was how A.C. Gaughen took each character and molded them to give each a distinct personality of their own. There's flirty John Little, sweet Much, and heroic yet sometimes moody Robin Hood.


"I weren't the sort to have people to go with, people looking after, and I were fair sure I didn't want to change that none."

Scarlet is independent and strong, while at the same time, flawed in her own ways. Namely, in the romance department. Some may have problems with her character, as she can be a bit on the abrasive side at times, but given her past, I find it easy to overlook. Her mysteriousness at the beginning of the book had me hooked and interested to know more of her character.

Robin Hood

”He were handsome, God knows that. All soft wet-wheat hair, eyes that were gray blue like the English Channel, and a jaw that were strong enough to take a few punches.”

The Robin Hood in this book is still the heroic, kind-hearted one we all know and love. But little did we know that he's also a love-stricken man who is hopelessly in love with his best friend. He tried not to let his love get in the way of his work, resulting in him pushing away Scarlet at several points in the novel.

There were plenty of action scenes to keep one entertained throughout the novel. They kept me engaged and were definitely one of my favorite parts. The unexpected plot twist caught me off guard and was not one I anticipated.

Because I was so desperate for the next installment, I began obsessively searching for when the next book will be released. And then I began to search for historical fiction books to keep me busy until then.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever read a retelling of Robin Hood. But I say this with full conviction; this is one of the best retellings I have read in a while. And that’s saying something.

I never thought I would be falling hard for Robin Hood and his story. I guess I was proven wrong, thanks to A.C. Gaughen’s debut novel. With just enough tension, action, and romance, this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

5 stars!


  1. Awesome review!!

    I think I have seen this novel around before!! I love the cover and the idea of Robin Hood. I love a independent, strong female lead.

    1. Thanks! Sometimes I feel like I enjoy a novel less if the female is weak. And I love the cover as well :)

  2. I love the cover of this book! I think that its really cool how its about a girl. Really great review! I will have to give it a try!


    1. Thank you! I highly recommend that you try it out.

  3. Wow! This one has been on my shelf for a while but I've just never gotten around to picking it up... apparently I'm missing out! Definitely bumping it up on my list after reading this review! :)

  4. So glad you enjoyed this! It looks like a brilliant book! Hopefully I can get my hands on it soon. Great review Summer! :)