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.
Oh man! I loved Scarlet, so very, very much, and I was dying to get my hands on part two. So much so, that I had my name on the list for the library ebook ages before it was released. There was much merry squeeing when I got my email about it's availability, and not a note of it was undeserved.
Basically everything I loved about Scarlet was amplified and improved upon for Lady Thief, with additional lovely goodies thrown in for good measure. To be honest, although I loved book the first, I wasn't sure where Gaughen was going to take the series. I mean there were cliff hangers, but what was she going to do to set this book apart from the first? Was the series going to be a game of cat and mouse between Gisbourne and Scarlet forever?
Gaughen did the one thing I didn't expect, she flipped the story on its head. Where book one was all about the commoners, book two focused on the nobility and the famed brood of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Where book one was all about the evil that is Gisbourne, book two revealed the man behind the rage. And of course, Scarlet has more secrets to discover about herself, all while trying to behave as a proper woman of nobility and good little wife. I'm sure you can imagine how that works out.
I were shown to the princess's chambers and made to wait outside until she were ready, with the higher-ranking ladies flocked about her. When she emerged, the few others standing there dropped to curtsies, and it took me a breath to remember I were meant to do it too.Being the big history nerd that I am, I adored Gaughen's take on Eleanore of Aquitaine and Prince John. The way she uses them in this story was a wonderful twist on the Robin Hood/Maid Marion tales, but also a great peek at a fictionalized version of two historical heavy weights. Where this will go in the future of this series, is tantalizing and I am very very hopeful that she's under a long contract for the series, one more book will hardly quench my thirst!
"Come along," she said, and we all stood and followed her out.
It were a messy business, so many puffed-up ladies walking down a single hallway, but the overly layered parade made it to the courtyard intact. It seemed we were meant to follow along behind the princess in a half circle, which one lady- who hadn't introduced herself to me- waved her hands and swatted at me to make sure I'd do.
My hands curled to fists- I left my damn knives in the chambers. Which were probably a blessing, considering what notions ran through my head just then.
However! Gisbourne is the surprise love of this story for me. I adore a great villain, but it's a role that's often written very flat. Gisbourne becomes such a nuanced and engrossing character in Lady Thief, that he almost surpasses Scarlet herself as the star of the story, for me at least. I loved the many angles Gaughen brings out in his character for Lady Thief, how you're never really sure what is genuine and what isn't, how he has moments of shocking tenderness, and of course, his all consuming rage. Small looks into his past reveal what he might have been under different circumstances, but Gaughen gives us readers only enough to cause, what I'm sure will be, endless debates as to his actual evilness. To me this was a villain reveal worthy of Rowlings depiction of Snape.
All in all it was an immensely satisfying read that I predict will win over all new legions of fans for this series, which, lets be frank, is not nearly popular enough for how well written it is. Lets correct that, shall we?
Lady Thief, by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Walker Children's, February 11th, 2014
Buy Lady Thief on Amazon