A romantic retelling of the Robin Hood story, told by Will Scarlet brilliantly portrayed as a young woman
A. C. Gaughen is a freelance writer and regular blogger who has had several stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. This is her first book for Bloomsbury. She attended college in Scotland but now lives in Massachusetts, USA. http://www.acgaughen.com/
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 fiance) 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 (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.