Book Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Lady ThiefRelease Date: February 11, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Genre: YA, Retelling

Source: Purchased from B&N as part of my Scarlet series binge


This book stomped on my soul. This book ground my feels to make A.C. Gaughen’s bread. This book had me so sweaty and had me so obsessed, that I ate, slept, and breathed Lady Thief when I was not reading it. This was the worst I’ve been damaged by characters or a book itself since Dumbledore and Snape. When I’m mad at a book, it goes in the freezer so it can calm the hell down until I’m no longer mad. This book went into the freezer four times. FOUR. TIMES. Although, this didn’t stay in for long because I could not be separated from it for longer than like 10 minutes. Here we go, and here is your synopsis from Amazon:

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.

1. I am still surprised about my love for some of these royals.

Surprisingly, Queen Eleanor and Winchester are my favorite royals. If you read Scarlet, which I hope you did, you know that in this series, trusting someone is a gigantic mistake. I feel the same way about trusting these royals – well, really any character other than Robin Hood’s band. Eleanor is a fantastic character compared to her evil son, Prince John. She is strong, supportive, and hilarious. She disciplines her son like he’s still 10 years old. It’s great. Winchester knew Rob from his days when he was an heir to an earldom and does nothing but help Scarlet. He recognizes her plight and pledges himself to her safety. I thought that would end, badly, too. These two were bright spots in this otherwise insanely bleak and depressing book.

2. I am impressed about how the language and slang is actually a huge part of the series.

So, since you’ve read the first book by now, you know there is a lot of slang in this book. For example, saying “were” instead of “was.” I found myself reading sentences like that after delving into Lady Thief. Anyway, some people complain about the slang and the dialect, but it ends up being a viciously important part of the book. We know that Scarlet is really Marian of Leaford and that she was, in fact, raised a noble. She acquired her way of speech from vagrants so she could effectively disappear. Say what you will about Scarlet, but she is insanely clever for this. She knew she would have to blend in to disappear, and disappear she does. We even see her parents in this book, and let me just tell you how soul crushing that scene was. Oh, wait, I won’t because you deserve to experience that for yourself.

3. Scarlet goes through some horrible, horrible shit in this book.

Here is why Scarlet is one of my all time favorite literary heroines: she suffers real consequences. She does not float through her punishments and she does not easily move on. She experiences so much pain and so much heartache that if it were anyone else trying to handle this, they would have broken tenfold. This series is so fantastic because every single action has a consequence, just like real life. I hate those books where main characters do things that are, for example, against the law and someone or something magically saves them. Not here. Oh boy, not here. There were times I wished that someone would magically swoop in and save Scarlet. Some of the things that happen to her are so difficult to read. I rarely cry because of a book, but this one had me weeping for Scarlet and everything she had to experience.


Oh god, you see so much of Scarlet and Rob in this book and it is just….all I can say is *SWOON* Here is a quote from page 170: “‘These schemes may benefit the people, Scarlet, but I fight for you. I will always fight for you.'” WHO SAYS THAT?! Rob does, that’s who. I’ve never really had a book boyfriend before, but I am claiming Rob as my own. As I said, there are some VERY real consequences for the characters in this book, and any other man would have run far, far away from Scarlet after some of these things. Rob, however, loves Scarlet so much that he will suffer anything to be with her. I haven’t seen a romance that I actually enjoyed in a long, long time. This romance was gorgeous. I loved it so much. Rob is such a strong man – just the man that Scarlet needs. They’re your bright spot in this book.

5. There is some very poignant and modern issues with PTSD.

So, as we know from book one, Rob was in the Crusades. And, as we know, Rob was tortured by Gisbourne before Scarlet married him. Here, we find Rob going through intense bouts of PTSD from his torture and from the Crusades. Rob wakes up, not knowing where he is or who he is sleeping next to (he sleeps next to Scarlet) and he is ANGRY and SCARED. He beats the shit out of Scarlet a couple of times because he doesn’t come to soon enough to save himself from trying to kill her. It is hard to read, and it is even harder to hear him talk about it. But, being Scarlet, she stays by his side and sleeps next to him regardless of what may happen to her when she wakes. That Scarlet. I love the characters in this book so much.

6. Speaking of characters, we see a lot more of Much in this, which I love.

Much may only have one hand, but he is such a bad ass. Armed with the kattana Scarlet procured for him, he tends to pop up in desperate times of need. Not in time to save Scarlet, of course, but there when she needs someone. He is like the older brother both Scarlet and I never had. He’s an incredibly caring man who doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder. Which is impressive since he has been so wronged in his life, and that is only counting his missing hand. I love Much and you see a lot of him here, which was another bright spot for me.

OVERALL: EVERY SINGLE STAR I COULD EVER AWARD A BOOK EVER!!! This book crushed my soul. This made my heart crack open and leak. This was incredible. A.C. Gaughen has made a fan out of me for life. I told her on Twitter that she is like a female, YA version of George R.R. Martin because really, no one is safe. No one. This will make you nervous and excited and scared and happy and depressed all at the same time. It is rare that I am this in love with a book, so holy wow. You need this in your life. Click the link to order, you won’t regret it!

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