I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #2
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2014-02-11
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, fantasy, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
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Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.
This book was like a continual punch in the gut. The emotions came strong and often. I kept thinking Scarlet or Rob would get a break, but none ever came for them. That was unfortunate for them but great for the story. Everything about this book reminded me again why I fell in love with these characters and their story in Scarlet and made me feel even more strongly for them. If you want a unique take on the Will Scarlet/Robin Hood story, I would definitely recommend these books. There is a big cliffhanger at the end of this one, unfortunately, but I can’t wait for the next book and will continue to hope for a happy ending for Rob and Scar.
My favorite thing about this book, just like Scarlet, was the characters. Everyone from Rob and Scar to Much and Jon and Guy are all fully formed and have so much depth. It doesn’t matter that we’ve known these characters from other tellings, Gaughen has made them her own and introduced them to us all over again. And in this second installment, they felt both comfortably familiar and still surprising. Rob is trying to overcome his past, Scar is facing the decisions she made in the last book, Jon is moving on from his feelings, and Much is coming into his own. Guy is still the bad guy but we get to know a lot more about him in this book because Scarlet is around him much more and we even get to know Prince John and a few other interesting characters. This book and the writing made me question who to trust, what was going to happen to my favorite characters, whether we would get a happy ending, and how Rob and Scar’s feelings for each other would survive everything that was happening. I still don’t have all of the answers to those questions and my heart hurts thinking about the answers to others, but I’m not sorry for either of those things. These are the kinds of characters that stick with a reader and I’m glad I’ll have more time with them after this book.
My second favorite thing about these books is the writing. It is so beautiful and emotional that it’s really difficult not to get fully immersed in these books. Add the dialect given to the characters and reading these books becomes a completely unique experience. The dialect could be difficult to get used to and I know some people aren’t fond of it, but I liked it and felt it helped me get to know the characters and their experiences better.
I haven’t read very many retellings but Scarlet and Lady Thief have made me want to try more. I love the unique take on the Robin Hood story and love how much emotions come through these books. I’ve fallen hard for all of these characters and am looking forward to reading more about them in the third book. If you enjoy retellings or love Robin Hood or are looking for a highly emotional fantasy with strong characters, I definitely recommend these books. Just make sure you read Scarlet first and then Lady Thief. And be prepared for some strong feelings. These are some tough books but the payoff is worth it.