Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Pages: 304
Originally Published: 2012
Format I Read: Kindle (NetGalley)
Publisher: Walker & Company (Bloomsbury)
Rating: [rating:4]

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I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

This is a retelling of the Robin Hood story – with a bit of a twist. Okay, lots of twists. But the major one is that one of the merry men is a woman. Scarlet. Don’t worry. That’s on page 1.

I raced through.
I loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. And it’s A.C. Gaughen‘s debut! The thing that struck me the most about this book was the pacing. Gaughen had me racing through to see what happened. And the writing was good too.

I just wanted to read one book.
This may be a reaction to the currently ubiquitous trilogy. But I hated the obvious set up for the sequel (or likely trilogy). Seriously, people, publishers, writers, can’t ANYTHING be stand-alone any more? To be fair, this story does mostly wrap up, but I was hoping for a more conclusive conclusion.

I loved the characters.
Scarlet was a well-drawn character. At first, I was annoyed and confused by some of her behaviors, but, little by little, more and more of her character is revealed. And then I just wanted her to live happily ever after. And the rest of the cast and crew performed well too. The well-known characters (Friar Tuck, Little John, etc.) are familiar but different. And I loved getting to know them. Besides Scarlet, Robin Hood was my favorite character. He’s a moodier Robin than, say, the Disney version, but I liked him.

There’s a plot too.
The romance story here was great. The tension builds and builds and builds. I think the romance plot required some suspension of disbelief with respect to some of the misunderstandings that occurred, but I usually most willingly suspended mine. And, of course, the Robin Hood story was well done. There are prison breaks, and the mean old Sheriff of Nottingham, and a wedding, and taxes, and thieving from the rich to feed the poor. Good (and bad) times were had.

In sum, this is an innovative retelling of a beloved story that I think will appeal to a wide array of readers. Look for its release on Valentine’s Day!

Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughen [rating:4]

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