“No one really knows ‘bout me. I’m Rob’s secret, I’m his informant, I’m his shadow in dark places. No one ever takes me for more that a knockabout lad, a whip of a boy. They never really see.”
Will Scarlet is Robin Hoods right hand man. But he has a secret, one that only Robin and his men knows. Will Scarlet, one of the best thieves around, is actually Robin Hood’s right hand woman. But Scarlet has more secrets, about her past before she joined Robin’s band. And when Gisbourne arrives in town she’s terrified of it all coming out. She needs to keep away from him but its hard when he’s been employed for the sole purpose of finding Robin and his band.
I wasn’t sure that I would like Scarlett. I was a bit put off because it was Robin Hood and I’m a little sketchy on the story but I was really impressed once I actually started reading!
Scarlet has a great storyline, you learn from the beginning that Scarlet is actually a girl pretending to be a boy and the implications that has on her as a person. Once Gisbourne comes to town you start to see her grow as a person and gather more of her background. But you don’t know all of it until closer to the end of the book. I kinda guessed that there was more to what Scarlet was saying earlier in the book but I didn’t get the full twist until very near its reveal!
I really liked the adventure in the story and how fast paced it was. The only thing I didn’t like was how protective Robin, John and Much were over Scarlet. She’s a girl and this is based around the like 12/13th century, a time when girls were handed from their fathers to their husbands and had little choice in the matter. I really loved how snarky and biting back about it all Scarlet was though and she didn’t really let them treat her much differently, though she did come across more as a flirt in some places rather than angry - which is what I believe she was meant to be. I really liked the twist on the original Robin Hood story and the revelations about things at the end.
The characters are similar to those you find in other Robin Hood adaptations, movie and books. Little John is a bit cocky and a bit of a lady’s man. Much is lovely and sweet. Scarlets really interesting and I liked her more once I knew her background and Robin is a bit of a loner and a bit moody but its understandable really after whats happened to him. I liked Lena and Tuck too and I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters I recognised more.
I think if you are a historic fiction fan or a Robin Hood fan you will love this book. There’s not much romance in it so if that’s your bag you may be disappointed but I loved the feisty feminine side of Scarlet and the action packed legend type story behind it. Robin Hood is a great adaptation and I would recommend it to most teens. Theres a fair bit of death and killing that goes on in the book so younger kids might not enjoy it much for that but theres not a lot of swearing or sexy times.
Scarlet was published on June 7th by Bloomsbury. My copy was kindly sent in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.