Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

*** This is the second book in a series. If you haven't read Scarley (MY REVIEW) then proceed with caution. There are no spoilers for this book but there may be some for that one. ***

Title: Lady Thief
Series: Scarlet #2
Written by: A.C. Gaughen
Published: February 11, 2014 by Bloomsbury
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

I had Scarlet, the first book in this series, on my Kindle for awhile and after taking the time to read it this month as one of my retellings I decided I didn't want to stop there, so this I'm going to marathon the rest of the series. Lady Thief is a really great follow up to an interesting retelling with compelling characters that reads like historical fiction.

One thing that I really enjoy about this book, and this series, is the characters. I'm growing so attached to them. In the first book I was really impressed with the way that the author played around with the traditional characters of the Robin Hood story and here she did it again. But even if they weren't based on the originals they weren't based on the original characters they would still be incredibly complex and likable. I adore Scarlet and Rob so much. They are fantastic heroes and it is easy to get behind their struggle. Scarlet is tough and kind but so vulnerable in this book. You learn a lot more about her and her history which was fantastic too. I've been loving everything we learn about Scarlet. Rob too is a great hero. I mean who doesn't love Robin Hood? But what I like about Rob is that he too is not infallible which made him all the more interesting. And I am also getting really attached to their romance. You guys know me, I'm not a big fan of romance. Usually when I see people talking about kissing scenes I almost forget that there were any in the book but here I remember the kissing scenes and I very much liked them.

There are also a lot of really interesting secondary characters in this book. We don't really get to spend as much time with the members of Robin Hood's band of Merry Men but they are all still around and interesting. Gisbourne however was a big part of this book and is officially taking on the role as the vindictive and unlikable Sheriff of Nottingham. He's definitely a great villain and one you love to hate.  But here the most interesting characters are new ones, which are the actual historical figures of the period. Prince John and his wife Isabelle were a big part of the book as was Eleanor of Aquitaine. It was great seeing the fictional characters interact with the historical ones.

But this book definitely felt more historical and less of a retelling. I usually like when my retellings play up the history of the period and I enjoyed that so much with the first book.  On top of the historical figures there was a lot more reference to historical events of the period like the Crusades. Not to mention the fact that Gaughen does a good job of developing the setting by portraying some of the more brutal treatment of the time, especially for women. It felt like a really well-researched piece of historical fiction immersing the reader in what life was like in Medieval England. There are a lot of great themes about treatment of women, the poor, and anyone who are viewed as less than the nobles. It was a great setting and one of the things that I love about this series.

The historical setting and retelling made for an interesting and dramatic book. This series is definitely full of action and mystery. I was incredibly surprised by some of the twists in the first book and while these ones were not necessarily as shocking but it was still a book full of mystery and great twists. It also has the kind of action that you would expect in a book about Robin Hood or historical fiction set during Medieval times. There are lots of fight scenes, tournaments full of jousts and archery contests, and even some battles that had me on the edge of my seat. The plot of this book is really built to something interesting and I'm enjoying where it is going. And with the way this book ended I'm glad I have a copy of Lionheart so that I can finish the series!

On the whole Lady Thief was a good follow up to a series that I'm really enjoying. It's an interesting retelling that reads like historical fiction and I am growing so attached to these characters and their romance. I can't wait to see what happens next to them.

I give Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. Obviously if you liked the first book in this series you should keep going. You will not be disappointed by this next book. And if you are a fan of historical fiction, Robin Hood, or retellings than pick this series up.

Have you read Lady Thief? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. I have to admit I skimmed this review because I had never heard of Scarlet and now I'm dying to read it!! I love Robin Hood and this is the first retelling I've heard of! The characters sound incredible! Thanks for sharing :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. I've skimmed read the review to avoid spoiling myself, but this one really sounds like the kind of series I'd love to read!