Google+ YA Romantics: A Reader's Journey: Scarlet/Lady Thief/Lion Heart

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Reader's Journey: Scarlet/Lady Thief/Lion Heart

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Welcome to A Reader's Journey, a new feature in which I talk about a book (or in this case, a series) that I had a complicated journey with... 


Lion Heart (Scarlet #3)
by A. C. Gaughen
Published on May 19, 2015
by Bloomsbury

Source: ARC from publisher for review

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

My journey:  The story of my Scarlet trilogy journey is this: I didn't read the first two books when they came out. Robin Hood was always one of my least favorite Disney movies. The characters were animals, and it was mostly guy animals doing interesting stuff while Maid Marion stood around looking pretty and worried.

But after seeing a lot of positive reviews from my friends, I decided to try these out. Overall my instincts were right: these aren't really my kind of books, though this series had a lot of strengths and I enjoyed reading it.

Scarlet wasn't my favorite of the three. It was a lot of fighting and roaming around in the woods (I know I mention my dislike for woods a lot in reviews. What do I have against woods, you ask? I'd need a therapist to figure that out, but it probably has something to do with bad camping experiences as a child.)

Lady Thief was my favorite by far. I'd argue that this is the rare series in which the middle book is the best. How often does that happen?  I really loved all the court intrigue and a there were a lot of shocking plot twists and a darker tone.

Lion Heart was ... satisfying, though not as thrilling as I'd hoped.  I guess my main complaint was that it felt to me like mostly loose-ends-tying, but it was nice to see (mostly) everything wrapped up.

My overall pros and cons: I loved how the author took the whole Robin Hood story/myth/legend and tied it to actual historical figures. I always love books that teach me more about European history, because that is a gap in my education. Loved the story of Scarlet and Rob -- the obstacles these two face in their quest for happiness are pretty daunting.  Even though I prefer a higher ratio of ball gowns to sword-fighting in my historical fiction but, I'm glad I tried this series.

17 comments:

  1. I have seen so much love for this series, but not once did I get the urge to read it. I can't really put my finger on why though. One day, maybe?

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    1. Try it! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

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  2. I'm getting ready to read Lion Heart, so I hope I enjoy it. I read the first book waaaay back when it was a stand alone. It's popularity lead the author to pitch the idea of a series to the publisher, which turned into a contract for 2 more books. The 3 books seem very different, so I'm thinking that may be why you didn't enjoy them as much. I may be a bit biased in my enjoyment of the series because I'm glad the author had success with this series.

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    1. I didn't realize the first book was a standalone, but that makes sense. And I agree that they are really different in feel. The first book was the most plot-driven, with lots of fighting. The second was way more intrigue and so dark. And the third was more like a historical romance.

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  3. Great review. Yes, there are different opinions about this series, which I must admit I haven't read so far. I was planning on trying the first book soon. Robin Hood is a fascinating figure, isn't he? :P

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  4. I haven't started this series yet, but I've heard good things about it!

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  5. I'm currently reading Lion Heart, so I don't know how it ends yet! However, I really like how Gaughen put her own spin on Robin Hood. It's always interesting when an author asks a question that offers another perspective on a legend, and that's mostly why I've been enjoying this one :)

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    1. I just noticed that my stupid autocorrect changed the author's name to Vaughn! *kicks autocorrect*
      Fixing that now.

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  6. I'm sad this didn't work out more for you, but I can see where you're coming from. I agree that book 2 is the best though. I liked this one and although I was a tiny bit frustrated with how things didn't fully resolve, I also got what the author was trying to do. But yeah, book 2 was my favorite too.
    Great review, Jen!

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  7. Scarlet was my least favorite as well. Maybe because the love triangle in it took up a whole chunk of the plot. Lady Thief was definitely darker, but I was only able to really connect to the characters in Lion Heart. So glad you gave this trilogy a shot, Jen! :)

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  8. Robin Hood was my least favorite Disney movie as well! Now I am wondering if that is the reason why I find it so hard to start reading this one. Doesn't help that I actually tried Scarlet once a year ago and couldn't get into it. It's nice to know the next book gets better and the Lion Heart at least ends satisfactorily. I'll give it a chance again just for the next two books.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  9. Oh my, you're one of the only people I know who can relate to my weird phobia about forests/woods! I just can't think about it, all those creepy crawlies and things that could jump on you. Camping is not my idea of fun. Although Lady Thief sounds like it was really strong! Great new feature!

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  10. Oh my, you're one of the only people I know who can relate to my weird phobia about forests/woods! I just can't think about it, all those creepy crawlies and things that could jump on you. Camping is not my idea of fun. Although Lady Thief sounds like it was really strong! Great new feature!

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  11. Oh my, you're one of the only people I know who can relate to my weird phobia about forests/woods! I just can't think about it, all those creepy crawlies and things that could jump on you. Camping is not my idea of fun. Although Lady Thief sounds like it was really strong! Great new feature!

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  12. It took me a long while to get into the first book, but I came to enjoy it. The second book was probably my favourite. But you're right, there is a lot of running around and hiding in the series! I have yet to read this final instalment - it's gotten a lot of mixed reviews - but I hope I'll find it a satisfying conclusion. I like what you pointed out about books that teach you more about parts of history you didn't know about - definitely a bonus!

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  13. Glad to hear there were things to enjoy, but I don't think it would be my kind of thing either

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  14. Yay for a great middle book but too bad the series didn't finish strong.

    P.S. I'm going to see you soon!!!!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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