Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet #2
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance
Publication.Date:February 11, 2014
Pages:320 (paperback)
Published By:  Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Website:A.C. Gaughen

Lady Thief on Goodreads
My review copy:
Personal Library

Where to get:

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.


Much stepped forward, looking into my eyes and I looked down. "Scar," he said soft. "Scar," he repeated, until I looked at him. "You learned to use your hands to fight for you. And you learned to trust the band to be at your back. You may have even learned to let Rob save you. But you don't need a damn one of those things. 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."
"I won't perform for you," I said, pushing the words careful through my teeth. God knows they weren't natural to on my mouth. "Perhaps you think me a fool, and who could blame you, as I sit here and listen to you call me a wild animal, a peasant. But I am wise enough to know when my words will only be met with derision and scorn." I looked to the side a small bit. "So no, my prince, I would prefer not to regale you."

My husband's hand settled on mine, his fingers clawing and cutting. I didn't much dare to look at him, to breathe.
A big body stepped in front of my path, and a warm arm came around my shoulders. "Need a hand?" Much asked, keeping me behind the shield of John's back.

He raised his stump with a grin and I frowned. "Terrible humor, Much."

He shrugged, his grin still fixed. "Nobody thinks I'm very funny."

While dealing with repercussions of Scarlet, namely Rob's night terrors, the band learns that Gisbourne is on his way back to Nottingham, along with Prince John and the royal court. Gisbourne, being the cunningly evil man that he his, offers Scarlet a deal. If she stays with him while Prince John is in Nottingham and act the part of a lady and dutiful wife he will give her an annulment. After much consideration, Scarlet accepts his terms and sets in motion events that will lead to the revelation of a secret not even she could have prepared herself for.

We see a lot of our favorite characters that we met in Scarlet, along with a few new additions: Prince John, Princess Isabel, and (my favorite) Queen Eleanor. Yes, Eleanor of Aquitaine. I love what A.C. has done with these real life characters. She's turns Eleanor, an amazing woman of history, into an integral figure in Scarlet's life and brings her alive.

Scarlet is still a strong figure, but what I also like about her is she comes off genuine. She breaks down throughout the novel, whether through fear or lack of hope, but pulls herself together to do what is right both for her and the people of Nottingham. She isn't a perpetually strong and holier than thou character, she has moments of weakness but also has moments of tremendous strength, all of which adds up to a rather relateable individual.

And the romance! Ugh, I thought Scarlet gave me feels, but this . . . you guys. If you didn't ship Rob and Scarlet before you'll definitely join that bandwagon while reading Lady Thief. Such. Feels. These two genuinely care about one another and they're fighting for a chance to be truly happy. I cannot tell you how much I am rooting for these two crazy kids to find that happily ever after. Just one more book to go, kids!

The language can be a bit tricky for some. Scarlet doesn't speak eloquently, but it's quick and easy to get used to. Within a chapter or two, you won't even realize the grammar mistakes and the words will just flow like normal.

A.C. likes to kick us where it hurts - but it hurts so good! - so the ending is naturally a cliffhanger. And it's a biggie. A fact I both love and hate her for. Luckily, the paperback had a sneak peek of Lion Heart and I got a nice little fix before the long-long wait of its paperback release and I've been sated. For the time being anyway. (You guys know how nuts I am about reading a series in the same format regardless of release date and cliffhangers.)

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