Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen | Scarlet Series
Series: Scarlet Trilogy
Author: A.C. Gaughen
# of Books: 3 (Scarlet, Lady Thief, Lion Heart)
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Action, Retelling, Romance
Heat Rating: cool; warm in later books
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: February 2012 – May 2015
Source & Format: Own & Library–eBook
**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
My Expectations / Why I Picked it Up:
I bought this book around Christmas because I love stories about Robin Hood and his merry men–always have since I was a kid. I used to watch the Disney Robin Hood movie with the animals all the time when I was young and one of my all-time favourite movie comedies is Robin Hood: Men in Tights. So, I think you can understand my excitement when I read the synopsis for Scarlet. It had all the promises that make a book 5 stars for me: a tough heroine, action, romance and the added bonus was Robin Hood of course.
My Review of Scarlet:
However, when I finished the book, I couldn’t quite give it that 5/5 rating. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book! It had great action, a bit of mystery and suspense thrown in so that was fantastic. I also liked all of the characters and the plot line overall was exciting and kept my attention.
Where this book failed to deliver was in two ways: 1) the romance and 2) it was way too short.
Let’s tackle #1–the romance. While there was some chemistry and sexual tension between Robin and Scarlet it never reached the level I wanted it to go in the book. Maybe I just read too much into the synopsis (sometimes I fear I pick up on one section of the synopsis and twist it in my mind to be what I want it to be) because now that I look back on it, it doesn’t particularly scream romance story. And to be clear, I wasn’t expecting a full out romance novel–I knew going in it would be more action than anything; but I would have appreciated more romance when all is said and done.
Which leads me into #2–it is way too short! I would have loved another 50 or so pages. It felt like right when we were getting to the good parts it ended. Also, part of the reason for my disappointment was that at the time I read the book, the sequel novels hadn’t been slated for publication so I felt like I was left at the start of a tunnel waiting to see where it would go. For the most part the story wraps up nicely but I just felt like there was so much more to expand upon so I am super glad that there will be two more books!
–July 23, 2015– Book 2: Lady Thief
Well I definitely got my wish for more romance fulfilled with this one! Perhaps a little too much romance? Now don’t think that means it is only romance by that statement; I just mean that there didn’t seem to be too much going on besides the romantic developments. There definitely was plot development but this book didn’t seem as fast paced in terms of action and I missed that a little. However, at the same time, it’s been nearly 3 years since I read this and I felt very out of touch with the series. I highly recommend you read this right after Scarlet to keep the momentum going. Overall, it was a solid sequel and I’m excited for the finale!
–October 22, 2017– Book 3: Lion Heart
This book was slower than I anticipated. I thought there would be more action and heist-like plans but it was more politics and waiting to make a move. I also felt like the romance was the main focus for a solid chunk of the novel. Which is totally fine–there is a lot of this that has to be resolved–I just found it wasn’t keeping my attention all that much. Also, the writing style seemed different than the other novels; not as old fashioned English as Scarlet.
Series Rating: 4/5
Scarlet 4/5 | Lady Thief 3.5/5 | Lion Heart 3/5
The writing style may not be for everyone so be warned (though I felt it improved as the books progressed). It took me a few chapters to get past that. Great for those who want a strong heroine, like Robin Hood stories and love action! Just don’t going into Scarlet hoping for some great love story because that really doesn’t happen until later in the series (ie book 2)!
Read if You Like: Robin Hood, medieval stories, kick ass heroines
Avoid if You: dislike stories with old English, want more romance (at least in book 1)
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin #1)
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Graceling Trilogy #1)
- Ransom my Heart by Meg Cabot
Synopsis for Scarlet (from Goodreads):
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.