Reviews for Scarlet


Booklist Reviews 2012 April #2
*Starred Review* She has many names. Most know her as Will Scarlett and think she's a lad. Robin the Hood calls her Scar--a nickname, yes, but perhaps he refers to the scar on her cheek. Then there is her real name, and that she tells no one. A part of Robin's band, Scar is quick with a knife, light on her feet, and always ready for a challenge, whether it involves nicking bread for the villagers or rescuing a poor soul about to be hanged. Haunted by what happened to her and her older sister in London, she knows that her soul is black, which may be why she won't return the affection of John Little. Or is it because of the feelings she buries and reburies for Robin? When the Sheriff of Nottingham hires Guy of Gisbourne to catch Robin, Scar is terrified. Gisbourne is at the heart of her trouble, and she knows he will recognize her by her unusual moonstonelike eyes. Debut novelist Gaughen does more than offer a rip-roaring tale, though it is that. The story, told in Scar's distinctive first-person voice, captivates and gets readers as deeply into the heart of a troubled girl as into the labyrinth of Sherwood Forest. Though some tightening would have helped the flow (a few rescues wouldn't have been missed), this has plenty for both the romantic and the adventure lover. An affecting take on an old story. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Thief "Will" Scarlet keeps Rob and his men informed about doings in Nottinghamshire, and in turn they keep their young messenger's secret--he is really a she (with an enigmatic past). Scar's voice is distinctive, and her unique perspective adds new components to the Robin Hood tale, especially as Rob and other familiar characters all vie for her romantic attention.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #3

Gaughen debuts with an inspired reimagining of the Robin Hood tale, one narrated by "Scarlet," a girl, and the love interest of 21-year-old "Rob." As in the original, the band of thieves steals from the wealthy to provide to the poor, with help from rascally John Little and other minor miscreants. When the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire hires Lord Gisbourne, a "Thief Taker," to aid him in his tax-collecting mission, Rob and his outlaws fight to stop them before the hangings begin. Tough-minded, independent, and guilt-ridden, Scarlet is an expert thief and knife fighter, who offers detailed and rousing accounts of her feats ("I threw him to the side, and his blade grazed my leg.... His head hit the ground hard, and I didn't ‘spect him to get up anytime soon"). But she also lies about her traumatic past and hides her vendetta against Gisbourne, putting everyone at risk. Gaughen creates a believable character in Scarlet, a fierce but feeling heroine surviving in an inequitable and unruly society. Alternating action sequences with dramatic emotional encounters, this restaging suggests that the bravest acts may be to trust and love. Ages 12-up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Gaughen debuts with an inspired reimagining of the Robin Hood tale, one narrated by "Scarlet," a girl, and the love interest of 21-year-old "Rob." As in the original, the band of thieves steals from the wealthy to provide to the poor, with help from rascally John Little and other minor miscreants. When the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire hires Lord Gisbourne, a "Thief Taker," to aid him in his tax-collecting mission, Rob and his outlaws fight to stop them before the hangings begin. Tough-minded, independent, and guilt-ridden, Scarlet is an expert thief and knife fighter, who offers detailed and rousing accounts of her feats ("I threw him to the side, and his blade grazed my leg.... His head hit the ground hard, and I didn't ‘spect him to get up anytime soon"). But she also lies about her traumatic past and hides her vendetta against Gisbourne, putting everyone at risk. Gaughen creates a believable character in Scarlet, a fierce but feeling heroine surviving in an inequitable and unruly society. Alternating action sequences with dramatic emotional encounters, this restaging suggests that the bravest acts may be to trust and love. Ages 12-up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 February

Gr 8-10--Plenty of swashbuckling adventure and a hearty dose of romance power this re-imagining of the legend of Robin Hood. Only this time, one of the Merry Men is a female thief disguised as Will Scarlet. She refuses to reveal how she incurred the scar across her cheek or any other details of her earlier life. However, for the outlaws, her quick thinking and expertise with knives are reason enough to allow her to keep her secrets. When the Sheriff of Nottingham tasks the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne (Scarlet's former fianc) with capturing Robin once and for all, she vows to save her hero, no matter what the personal cost. The fast-paced plot is easy to follow and filled with interesting details about the difficulties of medieval peasant life. Most of the traditional aspects of the legend are intact, so readers will recognize the familiar settings, characters, and premise, but the added mystery as to why Scarlet is hiding among Robin's men adds another dimension that will entice female readers. Some graphic epithets and occasional blasphemous curses pepper the dialogue, but they are not overused and language reads true to the period. While Gaughen's work is not as inventive as Lisa Klein's Ophelia (Bloomsbury, 2006) or as poignant as Robin McKinley's classic Beauty (Harper, 1978), his Scarlet is an appealing, fiercely independent young woman.--Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL

[Page 119]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2011 December
"Will" Scarlet claims to be not of Rob's band, yet has stayed with "the boys" for two years since arriving from London, fresh from the pain of familial loss and escaping despicable Sir Guy of Gisbourne. While the band works to keep the people afloat--with food and money for taxes--often by waylaying moneyed travelers passing through Sherwood, individuals hide secrets and personal vulnerabilities, the Sherriff of Nottingham sends for reinforcements, and thief-catcher Gisbourne arrives. While "Will" looks enough like a boy that most do not question and she keeps her hair tucked up to complete the charade, on Sunday mornings she bathes, dons a gown, uncoils her hair, and attends church. At eighteen, Scarlet is confused as John Little alternately treats her as a bandmate and a woman, and proximity to Robin of Locklear makes her "chest feel like porridge" for brief moments before he moves and her perspective shifts. As skilled with daggers as Rob is with his crossbow, as sure-footed as squirrels crossing the forest on high by running through overlapping tree branches, and fearless to a fault, Scar is a valued band member and an appealing narrator who exudes enough testosterone to attract male and female readers Billed as "not your English teacher's version of Robin Hood," Gaughen's novel "reimagines" the classic tale, filling it with adventure, adrenaline-charged fight scenes, danger, and chivalry. Set in medieval England, this novel is sure to garner a following once discovered by secondary students.--Cynthia Winfield 4Q 3P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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