Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Scarlet series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I absolutely loved Scarlet and this book was just as wonderful. It was a very enjoyable continuation of the Robin Hood retelling that was started in Scarlet. There will be one more book in this trilogy which is as yet Untitled.
Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read Scarlet yet! You have been warned!
Scarlet’s identity has been revealed and she has been forced to marry Lord Gisborne. Up to this point she has mostly ignored her marriage to Gisborne, but now Prince John is journeying to Nottingham to appoint a new sheriff. Prince John wants to see Scarlet at Gisborne’s side where she belongs. Gisborne dangles a deal in front of Scarlet, he will annul their wedding if Scarlet cooperates until the new Sheriff is appointed. Meanwhile the people of Nottingham are hopeful that the new Sheriff will be their very own Robin Hood.
This is a fast-paced book full of intrigue, adventure, and danger. I really loved it. Scarlet is forced to play the part of a lady and wife to the cruel Gisborne. We get to know Gisborne a lot better in this book and learn what drives him, it made him a more sympathetic character. We also get to meet Prince John. However the most interesting addition to the story is Prince John’s mother who reveals some interesting things about Scarlet’s past. Allen of Dale joins the story too and adds some fun.
The romance between Robin and Scarlet is just as wonderful as it was in the first book, if not even sweeter. Scarlet’s forced marriage to Gisborne and Robin’s struggle with his nightmares puts a lot of strain on their relationship. They obviously love each other and watching them struggle against great odds to make that work is very engaging. What makes their relationship special is that they know each others weaknesses and faults and accept them.
Many of the side characters have side stories of their own as well. Little John has a romance going on with one of the village girls. Much has grown a lot as a character and has an excellent side story as well. Additionally this book includes the famous archery scene between Robin and Gisborne.
There is a lot of intrigue in this book as we try to figure out what drives all of these characters, especially the evil ones. Poor Scarlet and Robin are both abused grievously throughout. In fact many of the characters suffer grievous wrongs and numerous wounds, this is not a book that coddles its characters. This book is incredibly engaging and takes the reader through a number of emotions from hope to despair. There is some snide humor throughout as well which helps to lighten things.
The writing style is beautiful and engaging. Things are left at quite a cliffhanger at the end of this book which left me dying to read the next one.
Overall a wonderfully done historical fantasy with lots of intrigue, action, and romance. I really enjoyed this retelling of Robin Hood. I think if you loved Scarlet you will love this book as well. It is a beautifully written story, with engaging characters. I am dying to find out what happens in the third book.