Skip to main content

Scarlet

I enjoy a good Robin Hood retelling. I truly do. And because I don't have a great love for the source material I don't really care what people do to it. I was looking forward to reading Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. Unfortunately the experience did not quite live up to my expectations. It is a good swashbuckling adventure story. But I had some issues.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 knife wielding loyal member of Robin's band. She feels the desperation of the poor they help deeply and works hard to help maintain them. It is her brilliant thieving skills and espionage tactics that keep the band in gold and information. There is a lot of worthiness in her character. When you add to that the camaraderie of the band and the action, I can see why many have enjoyed this one. The plot is predictable but action filled, and there is plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

I couldn't fully enjoy it though because I really couldn't like either Scarlet or Rob. Much of Scarlet's worthiness of character comes at the expense of his. The two of them have zero chemistry too. All of their conversations are miserable competitions to prove which one is more awful. (I'm the worst most despicable human ever. No I am. No I am. Seriously do you know how many awful things I've done? I bet I've done worse. Repeat. Repeat. Ad nauseum.) This is their bond. Despite being "the hope of the people" Rob was a complete and total jerk. His whole I-hurt-you-because-that's-the-best-way-to-hurt-me routine should send Scarlet running for the hills, particularly after he called her a whore. And then barely apologized for it by using the self loathing excuse.  John isn't much better with his inability to understand that no means no and "I don't want to be grabbed and kissed" is not an invitation to do just that. And for those paying attention, yes this means there is a love triangle here. Scarlet has all the boys wanting to love, protect, and kiss her. She is one of those special ones. 

For those who, like me, are history nerds and care there are some anachronisms that may bother you depending on how exercised you get about those. One of the guards searching the forest at one point says, "That's not on." The word fiancee is also used several times and that word wasn't being tossed around 13th century England. Betrothed. It's betrothed.

There are many people who have adored this book. I am in the minority here. If you are in the market for a swashbuckling adventure then this might work for you. What bothered me clearly won't bother everyone.

Comments

Charlotte said…
Hey, guess what, Brandy? I really didn't like this one myself (further confirmation that I can trust your taste in books to match mine!). The relations bothered me lots and lots. Here's my least favorite bit of the book-- "Hurting you," says Robin, "is the best way I know to punish myself." (page 285 of ARC)
Brandy said…
Yes. That line had me wanting to jump up and down on top of the book. And she was okay with that??? Hero of the people he may be, but you don't get any more selfish than that. Or dangerous. Who's to say that for of self hate will restrict itself to words? It usually doesn't. And either way it is not okay. It is not romantic at all in my opinion.

Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the

Shadowshaper

Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein

YA Book GIVEAWAY!!!

On Tuesday I posted my Top Ten Books Read so Far in 2013 and promised to highlight more of this year's favorites and offer them in giveaways. This is the YA giveaway. This is open to anyone who lives where Book Depository ships for free . Book Choices: TO ENTER: Leave a comment below saying which book looks most interesting to you and leave a way I can reach you if you are the winner. (email address or twitter handle-If you are using Twitter it would be helpful if you followed me, @brandymuses , in case I need to DM you.) Entries after Monday, July 1 8:00 PM EST are invalid. The winner will be drawn as close to 8 as possible.  Yes, I still do my giveaways the old fashioned way.