by A. C. Gaughen
Meet Will Scarlet, one of the newer members of disgraced noble-turned-outlaw Robin Hood's band. Adept at hiding and scaling castle walls, he uses these skills to steal for the oppressed people of Nottingham as well as his own survival, but despite the friendliness of Robin's band, Will still keeps many a secret close to his heart.
Now meet Scarlet, the spitfire of a girl whose biggest secret is that she is Will Scarlet's true identity, a fact only Robin and his band know – the only thing, in fact, they know about Scarlet at all; everything else – her name, her past, her true feelings for a certain outlaw – she keeps hidden, even from the reader. Haunted by her past and so suspicious of everyone, Scarlet tries to keep everyone at bay.
But when a monster from her past comes to Nottingham at the sheriff's request in order to claim Robin's head, Scarlet must determine how much the life she thought she didn't want – the life she thought she didn't deserve – means to her. She must break down her walls and place her trust in her friends, if any of the are going to survive.
Scarlet is a fast-paced, highly-addictive and incredibly unique twist on the Robin Hood Tale. It is told from Scarlet's point of view, though it still takes a while to figure out her motives and separate her truths from lies; her speaking, and thus narrating style are very 12-century peasant-like – for example, using "I were" instead of "I was" – but one gets used to the style after a while, and it lends some authenticity to the book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book very much, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys strong heroines, adventure, historical fiction, and, of course, Robin Hood. And if you like Scarlet, you can also check out its two sequels, Lady Thief and Lionheart.