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.
I have to say I had been looking forward to this book for a while, when the lovely people at Bloomsbury offered me a copy I knew I had to say yes. This was a very interesting new take on the Robin Hood story focusing on Will Scarlet who Gaughen has actually made a woman. I have never seen a take like this making an empowering woman into Robin's crew. This is written in language which is a little difficult for the first few pages, then, once you get into the swing of the accent then you really learn to love the character of Scarlet even more.
Scarlet is very stubborn which annoys Robin and has a scar on her cheek which she will never say how she got. When the Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne comes to Nottinghamshire we see a distinct change in Scarlet to from strong to almost fearful. She is determined that she will not allow people to be captured by Gisbourne and in turn, with Robin, keeps breaking them out of prison. It is the secret past which comes back to haunt her (but I'll leave you all to find that out for yourselves. Her down to earth nature is mirrored in the accent which I've already mentioned, this takes the tale into a completely new light which allows the reader to establish more of a connection with her as a 'real person.'
I really liked most of the characters in the novel (apart from the villains of course) and they had a very developed background. Although the story is not directly about Robin I found that I still found out a lot about his character and his influences. Its very refreshing to have a story not based directly upon his character with a new and enticing protagonist.
In terms of following the story I found that it followed the story of Robin Hood very well with a few lovely twists to the tale which made it all the more interesting. The best thing was being able to relate to each character and see how Gaughen had developed them in her own special way.
I'm purposely not revealing too much here because anything I do say will give away the ending. The ending is very interesting and perhaps unexpected in some ways. Is there room for a sequel? I hope so! There's certainly plenty left to say in this story. So I would definitely recommend to anyone who has enjoyed childhood stories of Robin Hood.