by A. C. Gaughen
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Source: ARC via Netgalley
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.
*I had such a hard time trying to find the words to write this review. Why? I don't know. Perhaps I loved it so much I just couldn't find the words for it! Whatever the reason, here it is :)
Everybody's heard the story of Robin Hood. Steals from the rich, gives to the poor. Its been done many, many times with slightly different takes. However, its never been told like this before. You know that guy Will Scarlet? Yeah, well "he" happens to be a "she" which makes for a pretty freakin awesome story!
Characters really make the story for me and these characters were amazing. Their all loyal, honorable and noble and would do anything for each other.
Scarlet is one kick-butt girl...literally. I would be absolutely terrified if I ever made her angry. She's a rough and tough girl a la Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Tortall Series and I absolutely loved her. I loved her independence, determination and spirit. Scarlet is living in a time when all women were good for was birthin babies and this is NOT what she wants. Therefore, she feels the need to prove herself and doesn't want to show her girl side because she thinks the men won't take her seriously.
Although I loved her determination to prove herself, these were sometimes the instances that she bugged me. She didn't realize that the band liked her for who she was, woman or not. The band was a brotherhood that would do anything for each other, Scarlet included. However, she always tries to put on a face and prove herself and her independence, when deep down, she really cares about the band and is very honorable and incredibly loyal. I would want her to have my back any day. But she's a girl with secrets...big secrets. These secrets actually make her who she is today. I can't say to much without giving stuff away, but her past truly was heart-breaking and I felt all the emotions right along with her.
Robin....*swoon*. This guy is hot by default. He's honorable, loyal, caring, and did I mention HOT? Robin is the leader of the group, but not the dictator. He listens to others in his group and they all come up with plans together. However, perhaps one of his most honorable aspects is that he sees the good in people, especially Scarlet. Rob just wants to show her how good she is, even when she can't see it herself (which is quite often).
The band was a brotherhood that would do anything for each other which is extremely honorable (yeah, I know I've used that word a hundred times, but whatever works, right?). They've all seen death and destruction in their lives, they've even done it themselves, and they do what they do to atone for what they've done.
And Gisbourne?! This guy is CRAZY! I'm not even sure what words I can use to describe him. Cruel? Vile? Just plain freakin crazy? Like seriously dude? Your gonna go through all that trouble for that reason? I know your pride was hurt but come on!! (Read the book to find out what I'm talking bout :P)
Warning now: the writing is kind of weird. As in, its not proper English. But what do you expect? They're thieves! So personally, it didn't bother me. It became second nature after a while and added to the story to make it more authentic.
I absolutely love Gaughen's interesting new take on an old tale. It was creative and brilliant. Her version of this story made me fall even more in love with the tale of Robin Hood. While definitely staying true to the heart of the story, she gave it her own dash of spice. It was both beautifully romantic and action packed at the same time. She made my emotions run high right along with the characters, which is something I truly treasure in a book.
This book is filled with action, romance, secrets, and kick-butt but loyal and honorable characters that are all special in their own way. Not to mention a pretty crazy bad villain. This book takes an old tale and gives it a new twist that makes it even better than the original in my book. Fans of the old tale, historical fiction, and tough female characters will truly enjoy this, though I'll recommend it to anyone that will listen :)
P.S. I LOVE that cover!