Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her female identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Robin and his band know the truth. As Gisbourne closes in, helping the people of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life, but her fierce loyalty to Robin-whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her-keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
The story of Robin Hood is not new to me, to anyone really. The outlaw giving money to the poor is an amazing story and while re-tellings can be a bit hit-and-miss, I loved this one. I've always been fascinated with the tale of Robin Hood, especially after the Disney movie and then the BBC series. And Scarlet was no exception!
I adored Scarlet. Considering the character is supposed to be male, I thought Gaughen did a great job in distancing her from other versions. And yet remained very loyal to the "original" story, with Much and Little John and Gisbourne, the Crusades and Richard the Lion Heart, etc. Anyway, back to Scarlet. I thought she was very tough-skinned and had every reason to be. I liked how we got little drips of her background, to be kept guessing and to prepare us (and Robin) to the truth. I liked how she didn't like to stick around to get thanked for her work; unlike Robin, whom I've always believed to have a hero complex. And I loved her relationship with the boys, as weird and sometimes awkward as it was! Especially Rob, as he was the one who "saved" her from her previous life.
It took a while for me to get into, mostly I believe due to the bad English. I mean, once I got used to it, I really appreciated the colloquialisms that poor country folk typically use, but it took a while to get my head round it. But I loved how the language and the story intertwined to pull together the legend of Robin Hood, with his gang and his hide outs, and Tuck's place. Plus, you know, Scarlet was a girl, which meant that hiding that fact was rather fun, if sometimes a little awkward because Little John had a thing for her!
There was so many things I loved about this book. I loved how it seemed very loyal to the traditional one yet had its own story to tell. I loved Scar with her tough attitude and secrets, and her interactions with the rest of the gang who had their own stories to tell, all having been hurt by Nottingham in one way or another. I loved how Maid Marian and Gisbourne were woven into the story, especially how unexpectedly - but I won't say anything more, you'll just have to read it to find out!
Published 26th Febuary 2013 by Walker Childrens.