Will Scarlet, one of Robin Hood’s band of outlaws, is not all he seems to be, as he is actually a young woman called Scarlet, and only a few know her secret as she is hiding from a dangerous past. Scarlet is loyal to Robin and is willing to do anything to help the people of Nottingham. That is until the Sheriff of Nottingham hires the thief taker, Gisbourne, someone who Scarlet knows from her old life and could cost Scarlet her life and more. Will Scarlet, Robin and the other outlaws, Little John and Much be able to avoid Gisbourne and raise enough money to cover the high taxes the sheriff is asking of the people of Nottingham?
Scarlet is a twist on the Robin Hood tale and is really enjoyable as there is lots of action and romance. However, even though I am rubbish at geography I am fairly sure Gaughen has underestimated the distances between different places as they seemed to travel dozens of miles in only an evening.
I like Scarlet as she is willing to do anything the boys can, and is loyal and self-sacrificing but is very naïve about boys and romance. However, I felt she is a bit too self-sacrificing such as her refusing to eat just because others were going hungry, and I felt like it could have been explored and dealt with but near the end it was ignored. I liked all of the “merry men” (I’m not sure I can call them that) but my favourite is Much as he is the only one who did not want anything out of Scarlet. Out of the other two I preferred Robin as John only felt like an obstacle for the romance between Scarlet and Robin. That being said I did not like Robin much as he either thought he was better than everyone else or was just rude to Scarlet.
While the romance in this book was disappointing, I will be reading the next book Lady Thief to find out what happens next to Scarlet and the gang. I would recommend Scarlet to fans of historical fantasy retellings.