Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre: Historical, Adventure, Young Adult
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.
First of all, look at this gorgeous cover! I absolutely adore the art, I've stared a the detail under the eyes and the freckles forever. What's funny, is that although I love this cover, it had absolutely no impact on why I wanted to read this book. I read this book because I love adaptations of history with strong female characters. When I was young Disney's Robin Hood was one of my favourite Disney Movies, and I wanted to be a Merry Men so badly, but of course I was a girl so instead I was just sad.
So when I read that this book is Robin Hood with Will Scarlet cast as a female under the guise of being male I jumped on it right away. It was everything I was hoping and more.
Scarlet is such a great character, her voice is unique and very in with the time, her way of carrying herself truly male, as is the way she deals with Robin and Little John. I had more trouble reading Scarlet as female than as male and that fact tickles me as she's been living as a male for so long that should be how it is. Robin, Little John and Much were excellently done as well. You can really tell that Gaughen is a huge fan of Robin the Hood, as the book has a researched feel, though she does do her own take on it. I love how Robin is charming, but at the same time quiet to his real feelings, while Little John is always up in your face.
I liked how the love triangle plays out in the book as well because it's not in your face. She likes Robin, but doesn't really know if it's just a silly crush or real feelings, while he's so shut in we as the readers aren't even sure if he likes her. Little John on the other hand feels like a male friend just realizing his female friend is indeed a female. He is overprotective of her, but it's also pretty obvious that she doesn't really have strong feelings for him in that way.
But of course I was hoping that she'd go for Robin, because I like them as a couple.
The greatest thing about this book, beside Scarlet's voice, however, is the prose. I absolutely adored the prose's style and I thought it was really well done. I would read another book by this author in a heartbeat.
I really liked Scarlet's backstory with the Theif Taker. I also love the way she regresses when he's around. Will Scarlet starts to disappear when the fear of him comes around.
Also, I SO CALLED SCARLET BEING MAID MARIAN! As soon as I realized that Robin and Scarlet just had to get together, I started freaking out that maybe, just maybe, Scarlet was actually Maid Marian, she used to be a Lady so it could be true. I felt it was a long shot, however, so I did get up and do a little dance when it was revealed that her name was Marian. That of course also meant that Robin and Scarlet were so going to get together which also made me happy. I really, really hope more stories are written of Robin, since this is very obviously just his beginnings as "The Hood" as his band is very small, so I really want to see the rendition of when the band gets bigger.
I recommend this to any Robin Hood fan, any Historical Fiction fan, and any fan of good writing. I plan on buying a hard copy of this book, because I enjoyed it so much. It's my favourite read among a lot of good books that I've been reading lately.