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Series: Scarlet

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Lion Heart by AC Gaughen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: Lion Heart by AC GaughenLion Heart by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Lady Thief
Published by Bloomsbury on 19 May 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adaptation, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 348
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: Scarlet, Lady Thief

Place(s) Traveled To: England – Bramber Castle, Sussex // London // Silchester // Winchester // Bristol // Bridgewater // Glastonbury // Oxford // Nottingham // Edwinstowe
(around 1192)

First Line(s): There was no light.

After finishing AC Gaughen’s Lady Thief (my review) I was so glad to have an ARC of Lion Heart to dive into as that ending was killer!!  The ending of Lady Thief wasn’t as bad as the ending of The Orphan Queen (my review) but it was not fun and I hated where all of my favorite characters ended up. Things are never good when there are lives in peril after all! So with barely a pause between the two books I grabbed Lion Heart and learned the fate of Scarlet and the gang. While I believe that Lady Thief has the biggest emotional turmoil of the series Lion Heart does not disappoint and in true Gaughen fashion the entire book is a roller coaster ride. My only consolation as I read this book was knowing that it couldn’t end on another cliff hanger as it was the last in a series. So there is an ending but as we’ve learned with Gaughen she isn’t your typical happily ever after sort of writer.

There is drama and tension in spades in this book but there is also a lot of laughter. Oh how I enjoyed all the scenes with Allen a Dale and loved the new character of David. The bromance between these two characters was epic and totally one of my favorite parts in the whole story. Oh, I loved the Scarlet and Rob bits too…because hello Robin Hood!! But there was just something fresh and fun about Allen and David. I also loved who Scarlet let herself be in this book. Of all the characters Scarlet has gone through the most changes both emotionally and physically. She’s proven her strength time and again and yet she’s still constantly being thought as a little bit less because she’s a girl. But Scarlet being Scarlet she always quashes those around her who think that she isn’t just as capable as them by proving just how much better she is. As kick ass heroine’s go, Katniss has nothing on Scarlet.

Lion Heart Quote


Then there is the plot. Oh my stars this story will gut you, heal you, and then gut you all over again. Just when you think these characters are safe Gaughen tosses in another obstacle just because. And along the way she always adds in all these little heart achy moments that almost make you forget how she’s shredding your soul a bit. Lion Heart is a book that will make you laugh and cry and really earn your way to an ending that I think will satisfy readers. Life is messy and not everything ends happily and Gaughen does a great job of highlighting all of that over the course of the Scarlet series. I think that fans of the series will like how this book ends and that they’ll also be sad to close that final chapter.

Like all good stories I hated for this one to end. I love this world and these characters and I am going to miss them all something fierce now that Scarlet is over. This will be a series that I revisit when I have the time and I know with each re-read I’ll fall in love with it even more. Gaughen is such a talented writer and I love how she wove together real history into the beloved Robin Hood story. I love how strong and real all of her characters were and I can not wait to see what she comes up with next. This is not a series that you want to miss, though it is probably one you’ll want to have all the books waiting around you before you start reading. Because in case I didn’t mention it the ending of Lady Thief is a killer.




 IR - Lion Heart

Add The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)


Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Lady Thief by A.C. GaughenLady Thief by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet, Book 2
Also in this series: Scarlet, Lion Heart
Published by Walker on 11 February 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 308
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: Scarlet, Lion Heart

Place(s) Traveled To: Edwinstowe, England // Nottingham (roughly 1191)


First Line(s): The fire breathed, the dying embers flaring and cooling in a hot pulse.


Lady Thief by AC Gaughen is the second book in her Scarlet series which is a retelling of the Robin Hood story where Will Scarlet is not a boy but a kick ass girl. Lady Thief starts out with a bang and its not long before my emotions are turned to a pile of goo. I had tears in my eyes by the time I hit the half way mark and didn’t know what else Gaughen could do to make the ending so horrible. Until I got there and I wanted to toss my book across the room. AC Gaughen is an evil evil author and that ending was so uncalled for!! But damn if Gaughen didn’t deliver a stellar book as she systematically ripped out the heart of this poor reader.

When you hit the end of this book you just sit back and go…wow.

Its a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and the action is pretty much non-stop once it gets going. And if you thought that Guy of Guisbourne was bad, just wait until you meet Prince John! This book is filled with lots of old friends and includes so new one as well. Stepping into its pages is like stepping into a hug until you are knifed in the heart by all emotions and feels that this book brings. This book made me swoon and it made me cry and it made me shout things like “No! No! No!!” There is tension and intrigue and so much goodness that the pages just fly by.


Lady Thief Quote


Lady Thief is a book that is far and above its predecessor Scarlet. Everything is just so much more in this story and once I started I found it hard to put down and when I hit that ending I was so glad that I had Lion Heart by my side because my need to know totally surpassed my fear of endings. Seriously, I don’t know what readers have done with themselves as they waited for the third book to come out because as I said on Goodreads when I hit the final page “WTF is up with that ending?!?! Sweet mother but Gaughen is the most evil of authors right now!!!!”

The dialect speak does still get to me a little but it seems like its less in Lady Thief than it was in Scarlet or maybe I’m just more used to it now. Lady Thief is a wonderful little book (even if it hurts your soul a little) and its one that I strongly recommend for all to read. There is something in it for everyone…action, adventure, romance, intrigue, and so much more. If you haven’t checked it out yet then you are seriously missing out. I’m also giving away a copy of Lady Thief (or other book in this series) as part of my January 2015 wrap up post just head over to this post and enter for your chance to win!



IR - Lady Thief


Add The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)


Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Scarlet by AC Gaughen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: Scarlet by AC GaughenScarlet by AC Gaughen
Series: Scarlet,
Also in this series: Lady Thief, Lion Heart
Published by Walker on 14 February 2012
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Adolescence, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Historical, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 292
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Also by this author: Lady Thief, Lion Heart

Place(s) Traveled To: Notinghamshire – Edwinstone, Nottingham, Sherwood, Trent, Worksop, Leicaster (12th Century, England)

First Line(s): No one really knows ’bout me. I’m Rob’s secret, I’m his informant, I’m his shadow in dark places.

Scarlet by AC Gaughen is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for the longest time but for one reason or another just didn’t. This was made all the more awkward as I kept running into the author at signings and telling her that I’d be reading Scarlet soon and then soon never seemed to happen. So with yet another signing fast approaching I decided to stop making empty promises and just read the book already. And then once I finished it I could have kicked myself for more reading it sooner. My only consolation is that because I waited so long is that now the second book in the series, Lady Thief, is already out so there is less wait for more story involved. Especially with how Scarlet ends!! (Gah!! Its a killer!)

I really enjoyed Gaughen’s take on the Robin Hood story. Which I was thankful for as I do really enjoy this bit of English folklore. And the character of Will Scarlet has always been a favorite of mine as well. At first I was a bit on the fence about female Will Scarlet but then once I started to read the book I feel head over heels for this character. Scarlet is fierce and intelligent and filled with secrets that you can’t even imagine at. Oh, there were some that I figured out before the big reveal but even then I had a suspicion that it was only because Scarlet wanted me to know.

The pacing and writing of this story are both great things and the only real negative that I have is the dialect speech. Yes, I can see how it might be historically accurate but once you know some of Scarlet’s secrets it seems a bit far fetched. That and dialect speech, like text speak, is always something that I’ve cringed at in books. It can make things a bit harder to read swiftly and for me it just takes away from a story. Though for most I am sure that this will just be a minor quibble…if it makes it on other radar’s at all.

Another thing I liked about Scarlet was all the secondary characters. I loved meeting them and seeing how they interacted with Scarlet and each other. There were even times when I was sad that this wasn’t a mulitple POV story so that I could see more of some of this characters and learn what makes them tick. I also think that its a fatal flaw of British TV that I can now never come across a character named Guy of Gisbourne and not picture Richard Armitage. I say this is a fatal flaw because the Guy of Gisbourne in this book is nothing like the one of the tv show and its so hard for my brain to reconcile the two because one I adored and the other I wanted to punch in the face.

Scarlet is a fun, fast paced story and I think that it will appeal to many different audiences. Its more than just a historical novel and its more than just a Robin Hood adaptation. Its a great discussion opportunity for gender roles and how ones identity is perceived. Scarlet is a strong, independent, female in a time when that sort of thing was actively frowned upon and how she deals with society doesn’t really help matters much at all. But Scarlet doesn’t care much about what people think of her as long as she likes herself and those she calls a friend like her as well. And that is something that everyone can identify with. If you haven’t picked this one up yet then what are you waiting for? Read it.