Series: Scarlet #1
Hardback: 292 Pages
Publication: February 14, 2012 by Walker Books for Young Readers
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.
Scarlet is a strong girl, perhaps a little too strong. She's an adept thief, quick with her blades, and has a good heart. She has a dark past that prevents her from coming clean with the band that views her as one of their own. I had a hard time with how quick she is to dismiss people who want to help her. Rob's band is obvious made of good guys, and they can't give her what she needs when she doesn't tell them about herself.
I did not like the love triangle. There must be a reason somewhere, but I couldn't see John the charmer developing a sudden interest in Scarlet, and she doesn't clarify their standing with each other. Then there's Robin, who seems interested in Scarlet yet keeps hurting her with his words. Both have trust issues in themselves and each other. Much of it is Scarlet's fault for keeping so much to herself, but Robin also has to learn to open up too.
I did like the action, and there is plenty of it. A battle of wits. Close calls. Rescue missions. Forbidden love. This book has it all. There are adrenaline-rushing moments when the band meets the law, and there are tense, suspense-filled moments when they can only lay low and keep watch. I did feel that this novel wrapped up a bit too quickly, and it leaves us hanging as to what will happen next. Overall, however, this is a fun novel starring one of my all-time favorite outlaw heros and his fair maid of sorts.
I recommend this for historical fiction (and Robin Hood lovers) looking to pass the time with an independent-minded young woman making her way as a thief in band of outlaws bringing justice to town.
An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes