Released: 12th February 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books/ Walker Books For Young Readers
Format: Kindle e-book
Source: Netgalley for review purposes
Find At: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Author Site: A C Gaughen
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth—the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It’s getting harder to hide as Gisbourne’s camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire.
But Scarlet’s instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it’s not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet.
Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves.
Overall I have to say that I did enjoy this book. I’m not going to lie, it did take me about a quarter of the way through to get really into it. After the halfway stage I really flew through it as the pace of the story really took off.
The main reason I struggled at the beginning of the book was because of the way it was written, it is seen through the main protagonist’s eyes and you could really hear her voice through it. Not a bad thing, but obviously there is a heaviness of local dialect and colloquials. This made it a bit tougher for me to get into the book. I don’t dislike this style of writing but it did hinder my progress a little.
The characters were really rich and varied; you could see the true tale of Robin Hood shine through in this book but with an added twist of Will Scarlet being a woman and not a man. I loved the character Scarlet, she was a true fighter and she really won me over. It’s not easy being a girl in a band of men. But she held her own and she did it with a certain finesse.
There is a good amount of scenery description and this helped the imagination flow. I certainly felt like I could be there in the Sherwood Forest and in Nottingham castle. I do really appreciate it when an author takes time to describe scenery.
It’s a shame this book is a standalone as I would have liked to have read more in the series, I do think there could be more development for Robin and Scarlet.
I would recommend this book to people who love the tale of Robin Hood, it does certainly have a different angle to it, but you can still feel the richness of the scenery and characters.
Story Rating: 4/5 – Just lost marks for the writing style.
Cover Rating: 4/5 – this is a really striking and eye catching cover, it is lovely.
*** Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for supplying me a copy of this book for review.***