Welcome to A Reader's Journey, a new feature in which I talk about a book (or in this case, a series) that I had a complicated journey with...
by A. C. Gaughen
Published on May 19, 2015
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?
My journey: The story of my Scarlet trilogy journey is this: I didn't read the first two books when they came out. Robin Hood was always one of my least favorite Disney movies. The characters were animals, and it was mostly guy animals doing interesting stuff while Maid Marion stood around looking pretty and worried.
But after seeing a lot of positive reviews from my friends, I decided to try these out. Overall my instincts were right: these aren't really my kind of books, though this series had a lot of strengths and I enjoyed reading it.
Scarlet wasn't my favorite of the three. It was a lot of fighting and roaming around in the woods (I know I mention my dislike for woods a lot in reviews. What do I have against woods, you ask? I'd need a therapist to figure that out, but it probably has something to do with bad camping experiences as a child.)
Lady Thief was my favorite by far. I'd argue that this is the rare series in which the middle book is the best. How often does that happen? I really loved all the court intrigue and a there were a lot of shocking plot twists and a darker tone.
Lion Heart was ... satisfying, though not as thrilling as I'd hoped. I guess my main complaint was that it felt to me like mostly loose-ends-tying, but it was nice to see (mostly) everything wrapped up.
My overall pros and cons: I loved how the author took the whole Robin Hood story/myth/legend and tied it to actual historical figures. I always love books that teach me more about European history, because that is a gap in my education. Loved the story of Scarlet and Rob -- the obstacles these two face in their quest for happiness are pretty daunting. Even though I prefer a higher ratio of ball gowns to sword-fighting in my historical fiction but, I'm glad I tried this series.