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Scarlet Hardcover – February 14, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Scarlet Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. C. Gaughen is a freelance writer and regular blogger who has had several stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. While attending college in Scotland, which she believes to be the most romantic and naturally beautiful place in the world, AC became enamored of the country's rich history and folklore. She now lives in Massachusetts with her two-year old goldendoodle.


Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: Scarlet (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802723462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802723468
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been madly in love with writing since I was in kindergarten. Not kidding-some of my earliest memories revolve around books and writing, like reading in front of the class, reading with my mother, and writing a story in first grade that was so funny (it dealt with a gorilla finding someone naked in the shower, and was, sadly, the culmination of my humor writing skills) it got me kicked out of class. Which was also the first and last time for that.

No that's a lie. In third grade I got detention for ripping bark off a tree.

I know, I'm a rebel.

From there, it was a long road. I wrote all through middle school and starting submitting novels (I hope I still have those very kind, gentle rejection letters somewhere) when I was thirteen. ACK you have no idea how bad those novels looked. All through high school I was writing in a notebook instead of taking class notes (explaining the less than perfect GPA). It was always novels for me-the first time I seriously wrote short stories was at the end of my college career, to get into my graduate program, and it felt awkward and weird.

But I got in to grad school, wrote like a fiend, and when I graduated I spent three miserable years as a freelance writer while working on several different novels. I wrote them, prepped them, submitted them, and kept on working, because as far as I can tell, the actual writing is the only thing that i can control, and it's the part that really makes me happy.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first time I've read a version of the Robin Hood story where by the end I wanted the sheriff to win. Flimsy characters, hackneyed prose and gaping plot holes mangle what otherwise might have been a decent YA novel.

The narrative is in Scarlet's voice but it's pretty hard to tell what that is, exactly. It's vaguely British and vaguely working-class but is rooted in neither Yorkshire nor London, where she claims to be from at different points in the novel. Like the plot, it also shows up when it feels like it and then fades away when it thinks no one is looking. Scarlet's voice is distinct from the other characters only because they all speak like Americans, which is another problem altogether. I don't have a problem with first-person narratives that use bad English, if it's in character, but it doesn't work if the grammar is sometimes bad and sometimes perfect, or if none of the other characters are speaking in dialect.

Also, Scarlet showers her narrative with tense changes like Robin Hood scattering gold to the villagers. She jumps from past tense, to past perfect, to present tense and back again; there's so much jumping around in time, I expected to see a TARDIS pop out of Sherwood.

Scarlet is whiny, annoying and a consummate Mary Sue. She prattles on about how she's great at stealing and the only proper thief of the bunch, but her thieving skills are on par with an unattended toddler in a toy store. She sees something she wants, waits until the owner is looking the other direction, and grabs it. Wow, mad skillz yo.

Scarlet also boasts that she's needed because only she can pick out the good marks. Like she can spot nobles traveling in disguise because they're riding destriers instead of farm horses. Destriers are freaking huge.
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Format: Hardcover
I was never a huge fan of the Robin Hood legend, but Gaughen's voice and storytelling had me from the first page. The dialect feels appropriate for the post-Crusades historical era, and yet everything else feels very fresh and almost contemporary without feeling anachronistic... not quite sure how she managed to pull that off. Scarlet is a lovable and sympathetic MC. On the surface she's tough as nails and holds her own with Robin's band, but underneath it all, she's wounded by her past and by the secrets she must keep, especially her feelings for Robin. And Robin... swoon! Enigmatic, protective, and wounded himself, he's my favorite kind of leading man. Their fellow mate, John, a cocky swaggering rogue adds some tension and simmer to the proceedings, but this isn't all about romance. Gaughen deftly balances the character-driven piece with some rousing action and adventure sequences and a scurrilously evil Guy Gisbourne. I smiled through most of this book and raced breathlessly through the last 50 action-soaked pages. Loved it!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Like the description says, Scarlet is an imaginative take on the Robin Hood legend, telling things from the point-of-view of a young girl posing as a boy in their band of thieves. And like all thieves, Scarlet is fleeing her past, a past filled with secrets that should they come to light, could destroy both Robin's group and Nottinghamshire as well.

What's Good:
From the outset there's lots of showing not telling, slipping in teasers about Scarlet's past and her own innate goodness, and yes- her crush on a certain bandit leader. Throughout the story we're given cookie crumbs about Scar as the story progresses- maintaining the mystery and intrigue of her character. Gaughen does a good job of making you feel the different characters' own desperation of their situation at times, and firmly establishes Scarlet's motivations and perspective on things.

What's Bad:
Scar's MarySue escapades: she's sure with a knife, got an eye for fat merchants when no else does (the boys can't even tell who to rob properly without her around), skillz enough to tell when a baby's turned in the womb, always knows how to break in and out a prison or a castle, etc. No explanation of how she acquired all these skills though- other than constantly repeating that she's been a thief... for all of three years. Yet Robin's as a seasoned war veteran with over ten years experience can't seem to plan half as well as this girl half his age.

The moments of suspense built up in the story crash like a lead balloon. At different points some of their friends and other locals are imprisoned, yet breaking them out is treated like another day's work. "Bob's imprisoned in the castle, you say? No problem; we'll break him out, oh... Tuesday after lunch? Guys? Tuesday it is, then!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
4 Stars

SCARLET was an awesome retelling of ROBIN HOOD!! I loved the twist that A.C. Gaughen put on the ROBIN HOOD classic! She spun the original ROBIN HOOD tale, with her own freshly imaginative twist, that brings a whole new world of characters, obstacles and adventure!

I loved that the drama, action, secrets, and adventure always kept coming in this fresh twist of ROBIN HOOD! SCARLET kept me glued to my seat, while having me engaged to the very end!


The City of Nottingham is under distress since Prince John gave his approval for the Sheriff to take over the Keep, taxing the townspeople for more gold then they could possibly pay. And if payment is unmade, then an alternate form of payment will be paid--in blood...

Scarlet, the only girl among Robin Hood's band of thieves, is fierce, loyal, and presumed to be just one of the boys in the band. All while shielding her identity and genre of being the only girl among the boys, in order to keep her respect and the people of Nottingham safe from the Sheriff and his band of evil soldiers.

Scarlet, Rob, and their band of thieves, rob anyone with wealth and riches, and fence their score to give to the townspeople in order for them to pay their taxes to the Sheriff to keep them from enduring his wicked wrath. But nowadays, the Sheriff is claiming people regardless of payment or not. But when the Sheriff brings in a high ranking Thief Taker named Lord Gisbourne to find the thieves and the infamous Robin the Hood, Scarlet and the boys realize their job just got that much harder.

Gisbourne is as dirty and deadly as they come, and he's looking for revenge. And for Scarlet, he is a secret she's been running from, a past she rather forget.
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