Scarlet

A. C. Gaughen

Book - 2012

Will Scarlet shadows Robin Hood, with an unerring eye for finding treasures to steal and throwing daggers with deadly accuracy, but when Gisbourne, a ruthless bounty hunter, is hired by the sheriff to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will's protector risking his own life in the process.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Gaughen, A. C.
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Subjects
Published
New York : Walker & Co 2012.
Language
English
Physical Description
292 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780802723468
0802723462
Main Author
A. C. Gaughen (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* She has many names. Most know her as Will Scarlett and think she's a lad. Robin the Hood calls her Scar—a nickname, yes, but perhaps he refers to the scar on her cheek. Then there is her real name, and that she tells no one. A part of Robin's band, Scar is quick with a knife, light on her feet, and always ready for a challenge, whether it involves nicking bread for the villagers or rescuing a poor soul about to be hanged. Haunted by what happened to her and her older sister in London, she knows that her soul is black, which may be why she won't return the affection of John Little. Or is it because of the feelings she buries and reburies for Robin? When the Sheriff of Nottingham hires Guy of Gisbourne to catch Robin, Scar is terrified. Gisbourne is at the heart of her trouble, and she knows he will recognize her by her unusual moonstonelike eyes. Debut novelist Gaughen does more than offer a rip-roaring tale, though it is that. The story, told in Scar's distinctive first-person voice, captivates and gets readers as deeply into the heart of a troubled girl as into the labyrinth of Sherwood Forest. Though some tightening would have helped the flow (a few rescues wouldn't have been missed), this has plenty for both the romantic and the adventure lover. An affecting take on an old story. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Gaughen debuts with an inspired reimagining of the Robin Hood tale, one narrated by "Scarlet," a girl, and the love interest of 21-year-old "Rob." As in the original, the band of thieves steals from the wealthy to provide to the poor, with help from rascally John Little and other minor miscreants. When the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire hires Lord Gisbourne, a "Thief Taker," to aid him in his tax-collecting mission, Rob and his outlaws fight to stop them before the hangings begin. Tough-minded, independent, and guilt-ridden, Scarlet is an expert thief and knife fighter, who offers detailed and rousing accounts of her feats ("I threw him to the side, and his blade grazed my leg.... His head hit the ground hard, and I didn't ‘spect him to get up anytime soon"). But she also lies about her traumatic past and hides her vendetta against Gisbourne, putting everyone at risk. Gaughen creates a believable character in Scarlet, a fierce but feeling heroine surviving in an inequitable and unruly society. Alternating action sequences with dramatic emotional encounters, this restaging suggests that the bravest acts may be to trust and love. Ages 12–up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Gaughen debuts with an inspired reimagining of the Robin Hood tale, one narrated by "Scarlet," a girl, and the love interest of 21-year-old "Rob." As in the original, the band of thieves steals from the wealthy to provide to the poor, with help from rascally John Little and other minor miscreants. When the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire hires Lord Gisbourne, a "Thief Taker," to aid him in his tax-collecting mission, Rob and his outlaws fight to stop them before the hangings begin. Tough-minded, independent, and guilt-ridden, Scarlet is an expert thief and knife fighter, who offers detailed and rousing accounts of her feats ("I threw him to the side, and his blade grazed my leg.... His head hit the ground hard, and I didn't ‘spect him to get up anytime soon"). But she also lies about her traumatic past and hides her vendetta against Gisbourne, putting everyone at risk. Gaughen creates a believable character in Scarlet, a fierce but feeling heroine surviving in an inequitable and unruly society. Alternating action sequences with dramatic emotional encounters, this restaging suggests that the bravest acts may be to trust and love. Ages 12–up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8–10—Plenty of swashbuckling adventure and a hearty dose of romance power this re-imagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Only this time, one of the Merry Men is a female thief disguised as Will Scarlet. She refuses to reveal how she incurred the scar across her cheek or any other details of her earlier life. However, for the outlaws, her quick thinking and expertise with knives are reason enough to allow her to keep her secrets. When the Sheriff of Nottingham tasks the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne (Scarlet's former fiancé) with capturing Robin once and for all, she vows to save her hero, no matter what the personal cost. The fast-paced plot is easy to follow and filled with interesting details about the difficulties of medieval peasant life. Most of the traditional aspects of the legend are intact, so readers will recognize the familiar settings, characters, and premise, but the added mystery as to why Scarlet is hiding among Robin's men adds another dimension that will entice female readers. Some graphic epithets and occasional blasphemous curses pepper the dialogue, but they are not overused and language reads true to the period. While Gaughen's work is not as inventive as Lisa Klein's Ophelia (Bloomsbury, 2006) or as poignant as Robin McKinley's classic Beauty (Harper, 1978), his Scarlet is an appealing, fiercely independent young woman.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL [Page 119]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In a new version of the Robin Hood legend, Scarlet--a fearless young woman who disguises herself as a boy named Will--shadows Robin Hood, but when Gisbourne, a ruthless bounty hunter, is hired by the Sheriff of Nottingham to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will's protector, risking his own life in the process.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Scarlet--a woman who disguises herself as a boy named Will--shadows Robin Hood, but when Gisbourne, a bounty hunter, is hired by the Sheriff of Nottingham to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will's protector.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Will Scarlet shadows Robin Hood, with an unerring eye for finding treasures to steal and throwing daggers with deadly accuracy, but when Gisbourne, a ruthless bounty hunter, is hired by the sheriff to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will's protector risking his own life in the process.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance, from debut author A. C. Gaughen. 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. When the heat turns on up the band of thieves as the Sheriff of Nottingham seeks revenge, the romance burns strong between Scarlet and her flirtatious fellow outlaws. Helping the people 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.