Finished Date: March 7th, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Series: (I hope there will be one!!)
My Rating: 5/5!
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I'd like to clear just one thing before I start on this review: There'd better be a sequel or heads will roll!!!!!! I went to the author's site and browsed through the F&Q section, and she only mentioned a "maybe", but damn, I really don't wish to leave Scarlet and Robin's world just yet..:(( That's how good this book was. That's how much I loved this book and wished it didn't need to end.
*There will be spoilers!*
I don't think there's a need for me to write a review for SCARLET, cause honestly, I can't find any flaws or negative things to talk about. But if you'd like to hear me gush about how utterly awesome this book is, then read on!
SCARLET was a pretty simple, enoyable read - the usual Robin Hood stealing from the rich with his gang of rebels, Much, John Little and Will Scarlet to give to the poor so as to pay off their heavy taxes lest be hanged at the gallows by their evil, greedy sheriff - but with a twist. A rather interesting and exciting twist - Scarlet is a girl. Only the gang and a select few know about this, and it made for a more exciting read.
I went to read the author's note at the back of the book, and Gaughen was speculating about Scar's identity. It was passed on in history that Will Scarlet was a mysterious persona who could wield and throw his knives as good and lethal as Robin with his bow and arrows. Since Scarlet is such a mystery indeed, then what if the stories told from generation to generation was altered by mothers or friends who didn't believe a girl could accomplish such great feats? What if Will Scarlet was actually a girl? And thus began her three month journey on writing SCARLET.
I LOVED the way the boys banded and worked together, fought together, had fun together, and how they stuck up for each other. Especially when John and Robin started to express greater interest in Scar being a girl. John's a playboy, so he had no qualms over displaying his affections for her openly, while Robin...That selfless, mysterious, dashing, tortured boy! He tried to hide his feelings, but that actually made him all the more endearing. He and Scar made a great pair - both trying not to show their affections for each other, both not knowing that they're actually in love with each other, both having suffered tragic fates in the past, and both so devoted to the people of Nottinghamshire. I loved their romance even though it only blossomed in the end, but it was very sweet, and very heartwrenching. But what I loved most about them is their skill. They were AWESOME in fights! Which are aplenty in SCARLET. They are deadly accurate, but they're not boastful about it.
I loved every character in this book, including Much, their one-handed friend who is also in Robin's inner circle, Tuck, the old tavern keeper, even the people of Nottinghamshire. Much was a good friend, always being left out because of his amputated arm but is still a kindred spirit. The people of Nottinghamshire really loved the Hood. They protected him even though it could very well bring them trouble with the sheriff and latest thief-taker come to town, Gisbourne.
Gisbourne is freaky. He is incredibly smart and cunning, and heartless and...He is here for Scarlet. Big spoiler, but you'll find out more when you read the book. He has a history with her, one that Scarlet is afraid to tell Robin and the others, and one that makes her quake in her boots just thinking of him. But what can it be?
The political conflict in here is pretty simplistic, and it wasn't a major part of the plot, so, moving on. The plot was thrilling and intense! I found myself literally glued to its pages as Robin and the gang plot, plan, execute said plan, fight, and as deception and secrets are revealed! Especially at the end! Everything was moving so quick and I loved every single moment of it.
I loved Gaughen's writing style. It suited the era and everything was so vivid. I could imagine the trees that concealed Scar as she climbed them and the dingy dungeons that they constantly had to break into, and the crowds in town as they navigate and find their way around.
I've always been a fan of 1) Robin Hood, 2) YA Historical Fictions ever since Lisa Tawn Bergren's The River of Time series, and SCARLET's it! A wonderful and exciting retelling of Robin Hood and his band of rebel heroes with the long-awaited (at least for me) romantic twist. Another favourite for me, and I'd recommend it to any YA lovers out there.