First Lines: There were no light. I had gotten used to it, in a way. I always rather thought that I were a creature of the dark–moving in it felt like my home, and that hadn’t changed. I weren’t the sort that went mad in the dark.
The great thing about summer is that when I finish a book in the middle of a series, it’s super easy for me to jump up and go, “I’m going to head back to the library to pick up the next book now!” Sure, the people around me look at me like I’m a crayon short of art box, but I really needed another Robin Hood fix. It’s my favorite legend ever.
*Potential Series Spoilers Ahead*
Imprisoned by Prince John for a crime she didn’t commit, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape, Scarlet discovers a plot to kill King Richard before he returns to England from the Crusades. Eleanor of Aquitaine gives Scarlet a mission: spy for her and help bring King Richard home. But it’s not that simple for Scarlet, who simply wants to return to Nottingham–and Robin. Together, Scarlet and Robin can bring down Prince John. But will their love be enough to protect them?
I can definitely say that this book did not go the way I was expecting.
The characters, in my opinion, are pretty much the best part of this series. Scarlet is perfect to lead this. She’s feisty, strong, loyal, and clever, despite all the bad things that have happened to her. But more than that, the minor characters truly shine in this. (Rob’s not a minor character, but he’s great too.) I truly liked Winchester, Much, Bess, and even Eleanor in this one. All so distinct, with things that you like and dislike about each.
What I truly loved about this book was that it has one foot firmly in history. I discovered quite a bit about this time period when I was researching my family tree last summer and I’m related to a ridiculous number of earls mentioned in this book, so I knew something about them. It was exciting every time I saw a new name crop up. Because I knew what these men would go on to do.
But there were also a few things about this book that threw me off. One was a complete tonal shift a little over halfway through the book. I mean, it felt like a complete 180. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, the bad thing to happen that I was sure was just lurking in the shadows. And when that new tone kept going…and going…I didn’t really know what to make of that.
Also, Prince John’s character took on a particularly unattractive desperation. Look, I can enjoy a villain if they are clever and unrepentant. (Not that I’d ever want to meet them, but these are the villains that seem to be the hardest to overcome.) And in the previous books, I would have said this was Prince John. But in this book, he just reeks of desperation and carelessness. That said, I’m not really sure how I’d rewrite his character either.
All in all, it was a lovely series and this was a great addition to the series.