Lady Thief by A. C. Gaughen
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: 11 February 2014
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: eARC provided by NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
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.
I... I just... I mean... oh my word, I don't even know how to begin this thing! I honestly don't know what to say. I practically flew through Lady Thief. I loved Scarlet so much, but I might like this story even more. Then again, I don't know. Gah! I just don't know what to say! I am going to apologize up front if I seem a little... scattered in this review. My thoughts are everywhere and I just can't seem to wrangle them! Also, as is per usual for sequels, there are likely to be spoilers for book one. On to the madness!
Let's start with Scar. As with the first book, Scar is fierce and strong. She may not have to hide the fact that she's a girl anymore, but she's still kind of on the run when we meet up with her again. This story picks up pretty much where the first left. The old, evil Sheriff is dead and Prince John has yet to appoint a new one. Rumors are spreading of an announcement to come soon, but in the meantime, Scar and the boys are trying to keep everyone fed and taken care of in the bleak, cold winter. The men of the area have all been enlisted to rebuild the castle wall, which doesn't help matters either. Then comes the return of Gisbourne, wanting to make a deal with his reluctant wife. Scarlet knows this may be a trap, but if there's a chance to be free of Gisbourne, she feels she must take it. Not only does Gisbourne show up again, but Prince John and his royal entourage flood Nottinghamshire in preparation for a great tournament to appoint a new Sheriff. Prince John is a piece of work. He's a sniveling, weak, wretch of a man. I hate him. Gisbourne is every bit his puppet, too. I just don't like those two men. They really creep me out and Prince John is seriously a sociopath!
Scar goes through a whole heck of a lot in this book. You might think most of her troubles are behind her, but you'd be wrong. Sometimes she was so thick that I wanted to smack her upside the head! But she really does have her heart in the right place, so I couldn't stay mad at her for too long. I think some of her actions were quite stupid and reckless, but that's Scarlet for you. In this book, Scarlet is quite at the disadvantage. She feels so much more vulnerable and broken to me in this book. She's already suffered so much, but the hits just keep on coming... quite literally sometimes, too. She spends the whole of this story bruised and broken, which you know just drives her crazy. Much gives her some amazing advice, but does she take it? Not so much. I mean, a little, but not as much as she could. Speaking of Much, I still love him to bits! John changes a lot in this book, too. Rob. Oh poor, poor Rob! The poor guy is totally suffering from PTSD after being in the Crusades and then being tortured and having his world turned upside down. In the guest post A. C. Gaughen did here on the blog, she shared her dream cast. I have to say, every time I saw Rob in this story, I pictured that actor. He's a perfect choice! I really just want to hold him and tell him everything will be okay one day.
Though most of the story in told within the castle walls, there is still a fair amount of action and intrigue. There are moments that made my heart leap for joy and those that made me want to freaking bawl my eyes out. The pacing was a bit more slow in this one, but that is to be expected when you consider that most of the story is set in one small place. I am really glad this is to be a trilogy, but I am so sad I have to wait to find out what happens! There are so many spoilers in this book, making my brain not want to work and pump out a thoughful review. All I can say is that I loved this book just as much, if not more than Scarlet. A. C. Gaughen has written yet another wonderful addition to the story of Robin Hood, Marian and the world of Nottingham. I will definitely be picking up book three as soon as I can, I tell you what! If you've yet to read Scarlet, do so now. Then be sure to jump right into Lady Thief, a stellar sequel in a wonderful series.
A favorite quote: “He taught me so much about strength and power. That the man who is truly powerful has the option to forgive, to pardon, to forgo vengeance and violence. It's the weak man that must prove himself such.”