First Lines: The fire breathed, the dying embers flaring and cooling in a hot pulse. I watched the cold black creep over the orange. The fire were going out.
Recently, I wanted to get back into this series. Back when I read the first book, Scarlet, it wasn’t even a series. So I grabbed the first book again and reread it, then picked up this one. I was desperately hoping it would live up to the first book, which had a bunch of the characters I love from old Robin Hood stories.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Now that Scarlet’s identity has been revealed, her future is suddenly on the line. Her forced marriage to Guy of Gisbourne is keeping her apart from her true love, Robin. As Prince John and the court fall upon Nottingham to appoint a new sheriff, the locals are all hoping Prince John will appoint Robin as the successor. But Prince John has other plans, plans that revolve around a secret about Scarlet that even she doesn’t know. Forced to play the part of noblewoman and wife to Gisbourne, Scarlet will do whatever she can to help Robin from inside the court. But how far is Scarlet willing to go?
This book was everything I hoped it would be. The characters were stunning, the action was enthralling, and the villains are dangerous.
Seriously, where has Scarlet been all my life? This girl is a strong, loyal role model. Sure, she’s sassy and she doesn’t always follow the rules, but she’s not about to let anyone use her or turn her against her beliefs. It’s simply magical.
Of course, the other characters are equally amazing. Robin is definitely the tortured hero here, but it was nice to see Much step out a little more into the limelight. No matter what retelling it is, he always gets relegated to this weird sidekick role. But here, he finally became a more significant player in the story and I loved that.
I loved seeing the royal court show up in this one because it’s such a contrast the world of Notthinghamshire. Scarlet is so not comfortable there, but she knows how to get what she wants and she sees through their manipulation.
Speaking of the court, the villains that arrive with the court (I was trying to be somewhat sneaky, but clearly everyone knows that one of the villains is Prince John, as he is in every Robin Hood story) are some really dangerous dudes. I mean, there are things you tend to expect villains to do in stories. Like we all expected Lord Voldemort to kill and torture to return to power. I expected a more regal form of this from Prince John. But…man, did he up the ante. There’s definitely some shock value to what he does.
The action was great. There may not be as much fighting and hiding in this book as there was in the previous, but we still have plots that Scarlet is trying to foil. We have villains who will do just about anything to push their own agendas. And, as I mentioned, what Scarlet has to gain and lose is much higher than it ever has been.
I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book. More court backstabbing and scandal, I’m sure.