Series: Scarlet #2
Published by Walker Childrens on February 11th, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Young Adult
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.
It’s weird to start off a 4 orange review saying that I’m sort of disappointed in the book, but alas, that is what hype does to me. Make no mistake, Lady Thief is a great book that is cementing Scarlet as one of my favorite ongoing series, even if I possibly didn’t like this one as much as I wanted to.
Where Gaughen excels in this installment of the series is the plot, and to be more precise, the plot twists. There are a lot of them. She really keeps a feeling of tension and suspense running throughout the book, and every time you’re lured into a false sense of security, she kicks you twice as hard in the butt with one of the plot twists. So it’s a plot that keeps you on your toes and reading feverishly. It’s unpredictable and exciting.
Scar’s main problem in Lady Thief is her marriage to Gisbourne, which happened at the end of Scarlet. She fights to be free, so she can be with Rob, and meanwhile, the Prince arrives to name a new sheriff for Nottingham. The characters here are excellent and gain more and more depth. I still feel a deep love for Scar and Rob, but Much also became dearer to my heart. And I strangely loved learning more about Gisbourne. The characters make the Robin Hood folktale, and Gaughen seriously delivers.
There were a few things that kept me from rating this as highly as I may have wanted to. First of all, it must be noted that my expectations were raised to an extremely high level, which is deadly for me every time. Two main things were promised to me: I would be in extraordinary amounts of pain, and I would swoon hard for Robin and the romance. Neither of these things really happened. I mean, there were short bursts of pain, but nothing that I didn’t get over extremely quickly. I feel like the book is too short and moved along too quickly for there to be a lasting pain effect for me.
And I didn’t really swoon for the romance much, if at all, if I’m honest. Not that I don’t still ship them – I definitely do. But the build up in the first book was way more endearing to me than this second installment where there just wasn’t that much development, in my eyes. I liked Rob and Scar’s scenes together, and when they are having their romantic moments, yeah, I do aww internally. But I didn’t swoon hard because they also couldn’t be together much. Which was understandable. And painful, I suppose, what with everything Rob’s going through. So I get that, but I guess I expected more from the romance.
And finally, the ending. Whoaaaaa. It shocked me, honestly, I was sitting with my mouth open, gaping at this book. A.C. Gaughen knows how to do a good plot twist. So I first thought it was an awesome, killer ending, but the more I think about it, the more I kind of frown. Obviously, for all spoilery reasons. View Spoiler »See, the thing is, I like how shocking John’s death was, but I also feel like she could have made it way more impactful and heartbreaking. Looking back, I should have seen it coming, to be honest. John is mostly absent from this book after he leaves the band, which I would argue is already completely not in line with his character in the first book. I feel like Gaughen was consciously distancing the readers from him, gearing up for this ending. Then she introduces Allan A Dale, who has practically the identical charming personality as John did in the first book. It feels like she’s literally replacing him, no matter how much I love that kind of charming, suave guy. But no, the more I think about it, the more the whole thing doesn’t sit right with me. I guess the most shocking thing to me was that Gaughen killed off Gisbourne. I didn’t expect that to happen so soon. « Hide Spoiler