Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Genre: historical fiction Age Level: young adult Series: Scarlet #1
Genre: historical fiction
Age Level: young adult
Series: Scarlet #1

Will Scarlet is good at two things: stealing from the rich and keeping secrets – skills that are in high demand in Robin Hood’s band of thieves, who protect the people of Nottingham from the evil sheriff. Scarlet’s biggest secret of all is one only Robin and his men know…that the slip of a boy terrorizing the sheriff’s men is really a girl. Her real identity is in danger of being exposed when the their taker Lord Gisbourne arrives in town to rid Nottingham of the Hood and his men once and for all. As Gisbourne closes in, Scarlet must decide how much the people of Nottingham mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her. There is real honor among these thieves and so much more 0 making this fight worth dying for. 


Scarlet is a light, fun read – the perfect armchair getaway. This was the first story about Robin Hood I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed the tale.

A.C Gaughen brings the Merry Men and Nottingham to life, making it easy to believe that if Robin Hood did exist, he would be how he is portrayed in Scarlet – mysterious and sensitive, a man with the courage to do what is necessary and a big enough heart for the whole of Nottingham. I’d always wondered about the circumstances that caused Robin Hood to become a thief for the poor, and Scarlet provided a very plausible scenario.

Scarlet is a very strong female character. She’s a thief who is deadly with knives and is speaks out against the treatment of women by society. Time and time again she must prove she’s capable of just as much as a man, if not more and that she will never be a damsel in distress. She also has a softer side, a part of her that wants to keep running from the pain and sadness and never stop. I adored the rough slang she narrates the story with.

The plot is well paced, balancing world building with action. Scarlet never fails to be intriguing and exciting with the right mix of tension and suspense. There is a central mystery that is built up beautifully, though I wish it would have amounted to more. The love triangle bothered me as I found it completely unnecessary. A straightforward romance could have strengthened both the story and the characters.

I can’t wait to read Lady Thief! Recommended to fans of historical fiction and strong female leads.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


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