Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Medieval, Young Adult
Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.Only the greatest loves can survive great danger. . . Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape, she learns that King Richard's life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine needs Scarlet's help to free him. For a lifelong thief, this newfound allegiance to the crown-her family-is a strange feeling.Scarlet knows that helping Eleanor will put her and those she loves back in Prince John's sights. Desperate not to risk anyone's life but her own, Scarlet formulates a plan to help save the king on her own. But fate-and her heart-won't allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long. Even if Scarlet and Rob can together stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England, will their love be enough to save them once and for all?
**Thank you, Bloomsbury, for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
It’s the end of an era. With the publication of Lion Heart, the Scarlet trilogy by A.C. Gaughen is over. It has been an epic and wonderful ride, but alas, it’s over. However, there’s always one solution: Re-read! I’m excited to own the first two books, and you can bet I’ll get a finished copy of the final installment.
I was privileged to see A.C. Gaughen when she participated in a YA Author panel at a local library. She signed my copy of Lady Thief and it was absolutely brilliant to hear her talk about the Scarlet trilogy! It was even more amazing to get a chance to chat with her. She is one cool person, and I love that just as she illuminates strong female characters in her writing, she actually works in a job that is focused on empowering women and girls. So brilliant!
And now, for my thoughts about Lion Heart.
What I Loved
The Characters: Of course, I loved meeting all my old friends from the previous two books—Much, Bess, Scarlet, Rob, Winchester, Eleanor…and then there are the baddies such as Prince John and Lord De Clare. They certainly add tension and a fair measure of angst at different points in the narrative, so hold on!
The Politics: I felt this book captured more of a political tone with the whole situation behind the tax that Prince John was supposedly trying to raise to bring back Richard. As Scarlet takes on her new title (given to her by her father, Richard the Lionheart) she must navigate the world of the nobles and learn how to outsmart Prince John and his evil plot to take over the kingdom. I enjoyed watching Scarlet continue to evolve into her new role, and her passion for justice for her people is just as pronounced in this third book.
Scarlet + Rob: What’s not to love about the relationship and romance between Robin Hood and Scarlet? (Aka Marian) These two are one of my favorite YA couples and for that reason these books will probably be re-read regularly.
Quotes that Made Me Think About Spirituality:
“It were a place that weren’t supposed to be filled with love, but that’s how it had always been. Our love filled the broken bits and made us whole again. There weren’t no perfect time to love him, not ever, and it had always been with the threat of death and hurt hovering round us. And we’d love each other anyway. Sure, and true.”
“It seems a precious thing, for someone to know the very worst part of you and love you anyway.”
“My heart holds my love, my hope, and my faith. My heart is unyielding, my heart is stalwart, and my heart is true.”
“But now I choose light and fire and love. Now I choose freedom.”
The Difficult Moments:
Waiting for Scarlet & Rob to be reunited: The beginning of the story opens with Scarlet imprisoned by Prince John. She’s been separated from her crew for several months, and though she (spoiler) escapes in the beginning of the book, it’s still quite a few chapters before Robin discovers she’s alive! You can imagine that I was turning the pages anxiously, waiting for the two to be reunited.
More bloodshed: As you know from the end of Lady Thief, bad people kill good people in this series. I hate to say it, but there’s more of that in Lion Heart. This was treacherous time for certain groups of people, and I do applaud A.C. Gaughen for depicting the historical period as accurately as she could. You can imagine the conditions she depicts on the pages of the trilogy are pretty close to life in the 12th century.
Danger for Scarlet & Rob: Yes, there are more moments in which Scarlet’s life is threatened or she gets hurt, and more danger for Robin as well. One of the scenes towards the end of the book is especially nail biting inducing. So be prepared! In spite of this, you’ll know from Scarlet and Lady Thief that Scarlet’s passion for justice and her knife throwing skills are certain to save the day.
Who Should Read This Book:
It’s a no-brainer if you read Scarlet and Lady Thief that you should read Lion Heart. It releases today! Yay! If you haven’t read the first two books, and you love a good young adult novel with a focus on a particular period in history (and illuminating a legend!), then by all means, run, don’t walk to the bookstore and pick up Scarlet. Read immediately!
The Final Illumination:
I’m definitely feeling the feels now that I’ve finished Lion Heart. I think I dragged my reading of the third book out a bit because I knew once I finished, that was it. I’m still glad I read this series, and know that I’ll return to it again. I absolutely love the Robin Hood legend, and of course, Maid Marian! Reading these books has renewed my interest in this period in English history so I’ve now added several books to my TBR about this period.