Friday, May 8, 2015

Early Review: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

Lion Heart
by A.C. Gaughen
Read: April 23 - 26, 2015
May 19, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Bloomsbury (THANK YOU!)
Category: YA, Robin Hood retelling, historical fiction 

Series: Scarlet #3
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound 

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

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.

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?

NOTE: Lion Heart is the final book in the Scarlet series. Find my review of Scarlet and Lady Thief, HERE.

I've become very afraid of series endings, and it took me a while to work up enough courage to even begin this one. Then I started Lion Heart, but had to set it aside for several weeks because the pressure was just too much. Thankfully, I picked the story up again and ended up loving it of course. It took me a bit of time to get back into the world and Scarlet's continued use of "were" instead of "was", but after about 70 pages I was completely hooked again. I'm sorry I doubted you at any point, girl. Goodness knows I wouldn't be standing at all after what you've faced! 

I wish I'd just sat back and enjoyed the journey from the start, because Lion Heart has solidified this series as a favorite Robin Hood retelling. While I enjoyed the first book Scarlet (except for the it's not 'really' a love triangle situation), Lady Thief and Lion Heart blew me away. This is mostly because of the character Scarlet, whom I've come to care for fiercely. I am constantly inspired by her strength and spirit.

I love so much that this retold myth has been given a fresh perspective through Scarlet's eyes. Robin Hood is a well known hero story, but author Gaughen has woven many messages for women into her retelling. I'm always impressed when an author makes me look at at a story a little bit differently, and along the way causes me to appreciate it even more. 

There is pain in this finale, but also lots of triumph. Scarlet has faced an incredible amount, and it all makes her more determined to protect her people and guard her love for Robin Hood. Their commitment to each other is another favorite aspect of this series and this book does not disappoint on the swoon. Within all the heart melting moments, these two are an unbreakable team of support and really do make each other stronger. I loved the progression of their relationship in these pages. 

I also fell for many side characters - Eleanor, Margaret and Winchester, Allan and David, Much and Bess - and I loved seeing the network of support that surrounds Scarlet even beyond Rob. Of course there are the villains too and Prince John continues to be his vile self, even more so because he really lived. *shudders* However, I always enjoy being able to research historical events, and I spent a while looking up the ones that surround this story. Prince John is (begrudgingly) a pretty fascinating person from history. 

I cannot recommend this series enough. To my love triangle dislikers, if you are worried to start these books because of the first one, get over that fear and get to reading. Scarlet and Rob's relationship progression is just beautiful to read, and it goes hand and hand with their individual growth, especially Scarlet's. My heart is still swelling with pride for her. 

Love Triangle Factor: NONE 
Cliffhanger Scale: Series conclusion


  1. I love retellings and Scarlet has been on my radar for some time. Definitely gonna read it soon. Great review!

  2. My feelings wrapped up in one "word" from your review: YASSSSSSSS! I read this, have the review in my pile, and am just more in love as I think about it. I completely agree with what you said. She makes you think about a story in a different way, and how Gaughen made Scarlet and all the messages about women....I just don't have words. I think I loved the afterword even more than I did most books, to be honest.

  3. I skimmed this to avoid spoilers. Maybe I should start this!!!

  4. This is such a fantastic series, isn't it? But I do know what you mean about the final book in series, especially in YA. I've just been so sorely disappointed so many times (especially since I don't choose to finish many) that I'm gun-shy, for sure. But I can't wait for this one!

  5. YAY :D Gorgeus review Lauren. <3 I'm oh so happy that you loved this final book. I had issues with the romance in book one :( haven't read book two yet. But planning on reading all three very shortly :D But so worried that I will HATE book one while re-reading it. Ugh. But I will try :D Since you loved this book so much. <3 The romance sounds awesome. Sigh. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie :)


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