Friday, 25 March 2016

Ruined by the Romance - Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen


This novel had three things that I usually love:
1. A strong protagonist
2. A unique voice
3. Use of mythology and/or folklore
I picked it up purely because it caught my eye when I walked into the teen section of the library, so I was really excited when it just so happened to contain those three things. But, unfortunately, this one wasn't for me.

There was action.

There were heroics.

There was also romance.

And the romance is what ruined it for me. Whenever something interesting happened, three chapters followed in which we were bogged down with the love triangle between Robin, Scarlet and John. Robin was the all-round perfect hero. He had noble blood. Pretty eyes. Perfect aim with a bow and arrows (but it is a Robin Hood retelling, so I'll let that slide). John, on the other hand, was a womaniser. Prior to the love triangle, him and Scarlet argued a lot. After the love triangle came in, he was always trying to kiss her. Annoyingly, both of these guys got to appear far more than Much despite the fact that Much was much more interesting than both of them put together. He actually had an interesting relationship with Scarlet - it was kind of like he was her little brother. If the library has the next one in, I might be tempted to pick it up to see if he plays a bigger role later on, but I'm not sure it'd be worth it.

Plot-wise, it was typical Robin Hood fare. Tax day is coming up and Robin and his band need to scrape together enough cash to cover it. Occasionally, they also broke people out of jail. What I did find interesting were the...we'll call them politics of being a woman in this era. I wish we'd gotten to see more of Ravenna as I found her fascinating, especially her viewpoint.

Overall, I was disappointed with this novel, but I don't think it was the novel. I think it was me. If you know a lot about Robin Hood, or like a lot of romance, you would probably enjoy this.

Do you like retellings? Ever read a Robin Hood one?