Review Blog

Feb 23 2015

A Scarlet Novel: Lady Thief by A. C. Gaughen

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Walker Books, 2014. ISBN 9780802736147
(Age: 12+) Imagine if everything Robin Hood did had been done by a woman . . . Well this book isn't quite THAT controversial, however it does morph both the legendary Maid Marian and Will Scarlet into the same figure.
Set in Nottingham after Robin Hood's escape and the sheriff's subsequent demise, the novel follows Scarlet as she returns to her loveless marriage under the lure of an annulment, which can only be achieved if both she and her husband petition the church. Unfortunately, her return pairs with Prince John's arrival and not only is she back at the mercy of Lord Gisbourne, but of Prince John as well. The Prince was summoned to choose a replacement sheriff, however it soon becomes apparent that that isn't his only agenda. Will he get his way when he has Scarlet to contend with?
Although written in a dialect, the writing style appears to be confusing. Not only is the dialect employed, but the writing is fairly modern which clashes both with the vernacular and the setting used.
One of the most outstanding things about his novel is it's characterisation of Scarlet (A.K.A Marian) being a strong, yet wilful, woman who is more than capable of making decisions for herself and for the good of others. Presented as a nobleman's daughter, Scarlet escaped to join Robin's merry band where she then fell in love with the legendary Robin Hood. A good hand at knives, Scarlet places herself in danger by loving Robin, both with the hopeful sheriffs, with the prince himself and even with Robin. She is a great role model for girls and for this reason I would recommend to girls aged twelve and up.
Kayla Gaskell (Age nineteen)

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