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A Reader of Fictions: Robin and Marion - Nickel Creek

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Robin and Marion - Nickel Creek


Author: A. C. Gaughen
Pages: 287
ARC Acquired from: Walker Books via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Will Scarlet, called Scar by friends, has a lot of secrets, first of which is that Will is actually a girl. The only people what know the truth about her are those in Rob's (Robin Hood's) gang. The Sheriff of Nottingham is sucking the people dry in his effort to have all of the money, so Rob, John, Scar and Much steal money back from him to help the people. Unfortunately, the Sheriff has had about enough of that, so he's hired a thief catcher, Guy of Gisbourne, with whom Scar has had a run-in in the past.

Scarlet is one of the books I have been completely desperate to read, since the moment I heard it was being published. A reenvisioning of a legend! A strong heroine! How could this fail? Well, in the past, a lot of the books I most wanted to read turned out to be really disappointing and awful. As a result, I held myself back, prepared myself to be disappointed.

Guess what? Scarlet totally was not disappointing. At all. I maintained my skepticism for a while, but Scarlet completely won me over. I had a lingering concern through most of the book, namely what exactly Gaughen was going to do with Maid Marian's character. Thankfully, what she did with the character was awesome.

What a fantastic way to retell the story of Robin Hood. Making one of the characters a girl changes so many dynamics, improves them in my opinion. Even better, Gaughen was able to make all of these changes without greatly altering the legend itself; it still fits within the parameters set by the accepted tale. That is seriously impressive. If I could, I would give Gaughen a high five.

Warming up to Scarlet took me some time too. At first, her dialect of English irritated me and she just was not that likable with her secrets and prickly-ness. As the book went on, I found myself loving the character more and more. The more I knew about her, the more I liked her, because Gaughen did such a fantastic job explaining why she were this way. Besides, in what world would I not respect a girl who's so strong and able to protect herself? In a time when women were not allowed rights or independence, she seized them in the only way she knew how.

The romance in Scarlet is amazing too, because Gaughen really made me wonder which guy would be better for Scar. Just like Scar wonders, although she also wonders if she wants a guy. Love triangles only work if the winner of the battle is not apparent. The romantic parts were really well-written, creating a sense of longing and a lack of confidence about the correct choice. They also weren't sappy, which is fantastic.

Most exciting is the fact that the door is wide open for a sequel. So far as I know there isn't one in the works, but one probably is. Just in case it isn't, I want to put my voice out here in the internet saying "Please write one, A. C. Gaughen! Please!"

Rating: 4.5/5

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Anonymous kohlo said...

I just had to leave a comment on this entry! I picked this book up because I read your review on this blog and I'm loving it so far (I'm about halfway through). One of the things I really like about it is how Scar has a distinctive voice that carries on through the narration. It reminded me a bit of Temple from The Reapers Are The Angels.

Stories with people posing as the opposite gender really intrigue me, it's a shame they're so hard to come by! (if you have any recs regarding this genre, please please please throw them my way!)

March 16, 2012 at 4:49 AM  
Blogger Christina said...


So happy to hear that!

I actually have a category for stories like that. Check out the label gender bender. It's probably mostly manga (that's where the term came from), because they seem to like that storyline a lot more in Japan than they do here, but just watch for it on reviews. I use it when someone pretends to be the other gender. Hope that helps!

March 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love this review! If I win your 100 follower contest, this is definitely the book I want:)

April 3, 2012 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's so amazingly good. If I could choose one of the books from my 100 follower contest, I would get this one. I'm going to need to get a copy for myself at some point...

April 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM  

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