From the Publisher
“The second volume of the Scarlet series plunges readers happily into the world of Sherwood Forest and does not end with any resolution, but its spirited action and rich voices hold.” Kirkus Reviews
“A must for secondary and public libraries that purchased the first book, this sequel will capture teen interest, and could also serve as a high-energy read-aloud . . . A welcome addition for libraries wishing to promote strong female protagonists.” School Library Journal
“Gaughen prepares her readers well for volume two by filling in the backstory from the first entry and entices them to read the next entry with a cliff-hanging ending.” VOYA
“There's plenty of action here, as well as romance, and it appears that there's even more to come.” Booklist
“Debut novelist Gaughen does more than offer a rip-roaring tale, though it is that. The story, told in Scar's distinctive first-person voice, captivates and gets readers as deeply into the heart of a troubled girl . . . has plenty for both the romantic and the adventure lover.” Booklist, starred review, on Scarlet
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Beth E. Andersen
In this second of a projected four-part retelling of the Robin Hood legend, Scarletaka Lady Mariancontinues her allegiance with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. The band now knows she is not Will Scarlet, a knife-wielding lad, but a fearless, rebellious, titled Lady, trapped for political purposes in a forced, unconsummated marriage with Lord Gisbourne. Scarlet is desperate to spare Robin’s life and to stem the misery of the starving poor of Nottinghamshire, trying to survive another brutal winter. As Scarlet makes obligatory appearances in the court (in between stealing for the poor), the powerful love between Robin and Scarlet grows white hot. They are determined to wait for the promised annulment from Gisbourne so that they can be properly married. Other forces are determined to get to Scarlet as her true parentage could pose a threat to the throne. This series is not for the faint of heart. Scarlet’s nickname (Scar) comes from a facial slash delivered by her husband. Robin, struggling with the affects of torture at the hands of Gisbourne, unwittingly lashes out at Scarlet in his sleep. Scarlet suffers a gut-churning injury in this volume. Gaughen brings to riveting life the harsh realities of the Middle Ages for the peasants; the life-and-death tournaments of sword fighting and archery; and the royal treachery that has the players jockeying for power and privilege. Gaughen prepares her readers well for volume two by filling in the backstory from the first entry and entices them to read the next entry with a cliff-hanging ending. Reviewer: Beth E. Andersen; Ages 12 to 18.
In medias res, the second volume of the Scarlet series (Scarlet, 2013) plunges readers happily into the world of Sherwood Forest and does not end with any resolution, but its spirited action and rich voices hold. The main voice is that of Scarlet, thief and lady indeed. As Lady Marian, she has married Gisbourne to protect Robin Hood. Gisbourne has injured Scarlet and tortured Robin Hood, but he promises her an annulment (and no consummation) if she will just play a part while Gisbourne fawns upon Prince John. Scarlet sees all these wheels within wheels clearly as she tries to protect the people of Nottingham. She also needs to protect herself from Robin, whom she loves but who suffers from a kind of PTSD. There is a full measure of kisses and caresses (but no more than that) and some very lovely and slightly antique language--"She were as pretty as milk and sun"--as well as splendidly choreographed jousts and archery contests. There are also some brief but vivid scenes of physical cruelty. All this holds together as Scarlet discovers her true heritage and finds a supporter and protector in the ancient Eleanor of Aquitaine (mother of Prince John and Richard Lionheart). There are secrets and lies, and back story comes to the forefront enough so readers who might have missed the first volume won't be lost. The tale comes to a bitter stopping point that will leave readers very much in need of the next volume. (Historical fiction. 13-18)
Children's Literature - Zella Cunningham
The legend of Robin Hood continues in this sequel to the adventure novel, Scarlet. Marian is married to Guy of Gisbourne. To escape from her husband, Maid Marian poses as Will Scarlet, one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men. Rob, John, Much, and Scarlet work together to protect the people of Nottinghamshire from Prince John and Gisbourne. In the first book, Gisbourne marries Lady Marian of Leaford at the prompting of Prince John, thereby claiming her father’s lands, earning the title of Lord Leaford, and intending to become the next sheriff of Nottingham. Robin is back from the Crusades, suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and from some unrevealed punishment from the former sheriff. Those plot details are must have been given in the previous book, as this volume only alludes to what has already occurred. Scar married Gisbourne to save Rob’s life, but then ran away after receiving a life-threatening injury from the sword of her husband. The marriage has not been consummated. Gisbourne lures Scar back to Nottinghamshire Castle by promising her an annulment if she will play the part of dutiful wife when Prince John comes to select the next Sheriff of Nottingham. But, of course, there are secrets to be uncovered and unexpected twists to the plot that make this an interesting sit-on-the-edge-of-the-chair type of read. The ending clearly is an indication that another book is due. A great story, a bit gory at times, but suitable for and appealing to the older reader. It is the second book in the “Scarlet” series. Reviewer: Zella Cunningham; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Dreading what is in store for her but determined to rid herself of a vile husband, Lady Marian (aka Scarlet) agrees to return to the castle as Gisbourne's wife, in order to obtain an annulment and marry Robin Hood, her true love. Rob rightly fears for her life, but Scar is adamant that the end will justify the means. Finding life as a lady more than difficult, she defies Gisbourne's every request while continuing to aid the commoners. Her adventures as a "lady thief" are brought to a halt, however, when she learns that she is not the natural daughter of Lord and Lady Leaford but rather the out-of-wedlock child of King Richard the Lionheart himself. Consumed by jealousy from the news, Prince John, the monarch's incompetent brother, cuts off two of her fingers, has Gisbourne hanged, and then blames it on Scar. As with Scarlet (Walker, 2012), this sequel is filled with action, suspense, and a healthy dash of passionate but controlled romance. The story is well plotted and suitably paced with realistic, spot-on dialogue true to the characters and their status. Unusual vocabulary is clarified within the text, although some words are only explained pages after their initial use. There is some cursing, but it's not gratuitous. Primary and secondary characters are fully developed and carefully wrought details of castle life and the Crusades flesh out the historical context. A must for secondary and public libraries that purchased the first book, this sequel will capture teen interest, and could also serve as a high-energy read-aloud. It will prove a good companion piece to Howard Pyle's classic The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and a welcome addition for libraries wishing to promote strong female protagonists.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI