Full disclosure: The author is a fellow Class of 2k12 classmate. Here is the official blurb from the publisher:
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 wholly unique update on the classic Robin Hood tale. In this version of the story, Will Scarlet is part of Robin Hood’s band of thieves, but few people know that she is a young woman with a hidden past that is revealed throughout the novel.
The first thing that strikes you as you read the novel is the voice. Scarlet’s language is rough but not uneducated. Her grammar is distinct, but then so are her observations. The author has gifted her with an ability to describe the world she lives in with succinct language that feels fresh and new. For instance, “The air were fair crisp, with the kind of crunch to it like a sweet apple.” The book has just enough of these descriptions to continually remind you that Scarlet is more than she seems. She’s smart, quick to take action, and a hero, though she would deny this.
On top of this, Scarlet’s hidden femininity brings a new tension to her band. Tension simmers between her and two of the young men in the group – Robin and John. The attention both confuses and warms Scarlet, but I never felt like she was a silly girl flirting with two boys. Each man gives her something she needs – before she knows she needs it – and sometimes she feels undeserving of their affection. The romance is secondary, though, to their mission to save the people of Nottingham, and things get complicated when evil Guy Gisbourne comes on the scene to catch the thieves. He is part of Scarlet’s hidden past, and the twist here is AWESOME. I won’t ruin it for you, but you won’t be disappointed.
Some readers might wish for more romance and less running through the forest, but overall I think SCARLET offers up a unique story with a great narrator who takes charge of her own destiny. I recommend this book for readers who like a kickass heroine, lots of action, and a side of pent up romance.
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