Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Classics Retold: Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (no spoilers)

the Classics Retold project hosted by Alison @ The Cheap Reader, Alyssa @ Books Take You Places, Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy, Wendy @ Excellent Library, Brittany @ Book Addict's Guide. Alison @ The Cheap Reader came up with this idea after project Fairy Tale was such a huge hit. She tweaked the challenge a bit to include classic books and their adaptations. 
Book: Scarlet
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publication: February 2012
Source: Local Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary (From Goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts:

Scarlet is a retelling of the classic tale Robin Hood. The main character Scarlet is a twist of the character Will Scarlet in the classic tale. Scarlet in this story is still Robin Hood right hand, but in this tale Scarlet is a girl. That was A.C. Gaughen's big change to Robin Hood's story.

Scarlet was a fiesty, tough, and insecure main character. She had a shattered past that we got clues about throughout the novel. All her secrets led to how she joined Robin Hood's merry band. Robin Hood was called Rob most of the novel. He acted tough, but was a very caring person. He cared about his band and he cared about the people of Nottingham. John Little was a bit soft in this novel. He was willing to fight for Scarlet, but at the end of the day wasn't afraid to confess his feelings for Scarlet. Much the miller's son was the last main character. Much had just one arm, but he was determined to do what he could.

A.C. Gaughen kept many elements from the original tale including Robin and his band robbing from the rich to give to the poor. That was a part I missed in the original novel is I don't think they stressed enough how much the people of Nottingham where really hurting where we got the full extend of their hurt in Scarlet. There was also lots of fight scenes and blood shed during Scarlet.

I do have to admit there was a point where I was ready to give up Scarlet. I didn't think I would be able to finish this novel. I don't know if the author made the mistakes on purpose or if she just had a poor editior, but there were so many grammar mistakes in this novel. I'm not a grammar nazi. It takes a lot for me to see a grammar mistake. When I could point out a bunch on every single page there is a problem. At one point the grammar mistakes were really getting to me and I thought about just giving Scarlet up. I also have to admit that I'm glad I finished Scarlet because the ending was amazing. This novel has five star potential if it was edited better. At the beginning of this book I was thinking it was a two star book. As I went along it redeemed itself. Scarlet still has much more potential than was brought forth in this novel.

I liked Scarlet better than the original novel. I ended up really enjoying Scarlet despite the many grammar errors. Robin Hood is a tale that has been told over and over again. I enjoyed A.C. Gaughen's twist on the tale. I suggest that you go read Scarlet if you like the tale of Robin Hood. I don't suggest you read Scarlet if you can't take a lot of grammar errors. The ending made this novel worth my time, but I still think this novel could have been better.


  1. I didn't realize this was a spin on Robin Hood!! I do love Robin Hood so I am for sure going to pick up this book.


    1. Go for it. I thought I was going to hate this book at the beginning, but once you let proper english go I realized I really enjoyed the book.

  2. I still want to read this book! Someone nominated me for a Liebster award and I get to nominate people too and I nominated you. If you want to do it, here is the link: http://floodbooks.blogspot.com/2013/09/liebster-award.html. It is kind of fun, but I know college is keeping you busy!

  3. I loved this one! Did the grammar mistakes while Scarlet was talking bother you? Her dialect? That annoyed me a bit but I didn't find any other mistakes through the novel, and I edit for a living so that would have really stood out! Did you know that Gaughen is writing a sequel called Lady Thief? I think it is out in January!

    1. I thought the tense of the words was very weird in this novel and I hated all the grammar mistakes. I heard she is writing a sequel I'm not sure I want to read it.


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