Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: Lady Thief by AC Gaughen

Lady Thief by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet #2
Published: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens
308 pages (ARC)
Genre: Young adult historic fiction/retelling
Acquired this book: As a gift from the author
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my review of Scarlet}

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.

Scarlet is one of my favourite books ever. I’ve always loved the legend of Robin Hood, and the idea of Will Scarlet being a girl…and not just any girl…blew my mind. It was a brilliant twist, and the entire book tugged at my heartstrings, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me fall in love with Rob, Scar, and the band.

I was so excited when AC Gaughen announced that Scarlet's story was going to be a trilogy. Scarlet and Robin’s story didn’t feel like it was complete, so I waited anxiously for Lady Thief, wondering what would happen to this couple. Within a few minutes of finally having the book in my hot little hands, I knew my heart was going to break, and I was right. Lady Thief was much darker than Scarlet - at times, so much so that it was hard to read. I kept catching myself rubbing my chest as if there were an actual ache in my heart.

But don’t let that put you off. Obviously I loved this book since I’m giving it 5 stars - it’s just one of those books that you love even though it rips out your heart and tramples it.

Whether I’m dense or whether it really was that brilliant of a plot twist (I’m going to go with the latter), I didn’t see the big twist coming in Scarlet. The same thing happened in Lady Thief, but I feel like I should have guessed this one, especially since I grew up watching the Disney version of Robin Hood (and still watch it regularly with my nephews). There were so many unexpected twists in this story. Even though I’ve loved anything to do with Robin Hood my whole life, I don’t actually know the legend all that well, so whether things will be predictable for Robin Hood buffs, I’m not sure, but I was stunned in all the best ways at the turns this book took.

Then there were the characters. I loved Scarlet in the first book, and I loved her even more in this book. She’s strong, loyal, fierce, cunning, and so much more than she gives herself credit for. Even when things got dark and twisty, she never gave up and she never lost hope, and that was what I loved most about her. Even as I was a sobbing wreck at the things that were happening to her, I felt this hope and faith emanating from her that just amazed me. Robin was as swoony as ever, loving Scarlet with his whole heart, and wanting to protect her. I think it was their relationship that made my heart ache the most; things between them at the beginning of the book were difficult, and I kept putting the book aside because it was hard to read. The little moments between them were among my favourite - you could really see and feel how much they love each other.

There were other familiar faces, like John and Much, and some new faces. I absolutely loved Much in Lady Thief. I wanted to squeeze him so many times. He was an amazing friend to Scarlet, and like her, he’s worth so much more than he gives himself credit for. The new characters…I don’t know how much I can say without getting into spoiler territory. There’s a familiar face from Robin Hood legend (I actually squealed out loud when he made his appearance), and a few other people, some of who were horrible and evil, and two in particular that were incredible and added so much to the story. I really want to talk more about them and give them the credit they deserve since they were so memorable, but just know that even though Scarlet seems to be surrounded by evil, there are people on her side, fighting for her and watching out for her.

Sequels can often be a letdown, especially when the first book was so epic, but Lady Thief is action-packed, suspenseful, and full of amazing twists. It’s a book that will leave you breathless, speechless, aching, and yearning for more. It’s heartbreaking but also uplifting, sad but hopeful. It made me laugh, cry, rage, and swoon.

Now begins the painful wait for the final book in Scarlet and Robin’s story…*sigh*

"Your power, your great gift, is that you never give up. When something fails you make a new plan, and another, and another. You never accept defeat. You never give up." ~ Much, page 61
"They can have your name. I know who you are, with or without it. And I won't ever let you lose that. My love. My Scarlet." ~ Robin, page 92
"We've always been good at causing a bit of chaos." ~ Robin, page 93
I stared at him, drinking him in till I felt tipsy with the sight of him, and pulled him closer to me, wanting to touch him. His arms came round me and I pressed my face to the crook of his neck. "We'd never be happy without adventure," I murmured to him. "But we'll be happy with each other. We will have that chance. I promise." ~ Scarlet, page 169
 "I only feel like a hero when you're with me, Scarlet. I feel like I have destiny greater than pain and hurt when you're in my arms." ~ Robin, page 261
*All quotes taken from the ARC of Lady Thief by AC Gaughen.I know you're not necessarily supposed to quote from ARCs but these are just too damn good not to share*

Have you read Scarlet or Lady Thief? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to? Do you like Robin Hood stories? Historic fiction?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't even started this series. Grrrr. I'll get to it eventually.


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