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Monday, March 17, 2014

(MMGM) Will In Scarlet by Matthew Cody {Review & Giveaway}

Be sure to check out the full schedule of this year’s 3rd Annual March MG Madness and enter to win a box of 6 books!

I'm thrilled to be sharing my review of Will in Scarlet today AND to be giving away a signed copy...

Will in Scarlet
by Matthew Cody
Random House

This reimagining of the Robin Hood legend tells the story of the young boy behind the bandit hero's rise to fame.
Will Shackley is the son of a lord, and though just thirteen, he’s led a charmed, protected life and is the heir to Shackley House, while his father is away on the Third Crusade with King Richard the Lionheart.
But with King Richard’s absence, the winds of treason are blowing across England, and soon Shackley House becomes caught up in a dangerous power struggle that drives Will out of the only home he’s ever known. Alone, he flees into the dangerous Sherwood Forest, where he joins an elusive gang of bandits readers will immediately recognize.
How Will helps a drunkard named Rob become one of the most feared and revered criminals in history is a swashbuckling ride perfect for anyone who loves heroes, villains, and adventure.

Matthew Cody’s Will in Scarlet is a fun reimagining of the infamous Robin Hood legend. This wild swashbuckling middle-grade book has outrageous adventure, laugh-out-loud humor, a touch of romance, vile villains, and plenty of worthy heroes to keep young readers thoroughly entertained!

Thirteen year old Will Shackley has lived a sheltered and privileged life as the son and heir of Lord Shackley. But Lord Shackley is away at war with KIng Richard the Lionheart, and in their absence treason abounds. Shackley House is overtaken by a most villainous man and Will is forced to flee. Will finds himself in Sherwood Forest and at the hands of the Merry Men, lead not yet by Robin Hood, but by the nasty Gilbert. Will joins forces with this quirky group of bandits as they rob from the rich and give to the poor. Along the way, Will Scarlet, Robin Hood, and the legend of the Merry Men is born!

Matthew Cody has written an exciting, super engaging retelling of the Robin Hood legend that will appeal greatly to young readers. Full of silly humor, thrilling battles, and unforgettable characters, Will in Scarlet is a charming page-turner.

Sherwood Forest, Shackley House, and the English countryside all make for a sprawling and epic setting. Although this story is fictional, Cody imbues this setting with historical facts and accuracies, creating a very layered and well-developed world. Cody is a charming and captivating storyteller, with a flair for humor; he clearly knows his intended audience well!

Cody introduces readers to a familiar, yet very different set of Merry Men than we’re used to, which I just loved. The author cleverly ages down Will Scarlet/Shackley, allowing readers to relate to and see through his young, innocent perspective. We also meet a drunkard, not so heroic Rob, big as a bear John Little, and a female Much the Miller’s Son/Daughter, before they become the infamous and well-loved legends of today. It’s so fun and enthralling to watch these characters evolve from mere bandits to the heroic Merry Men throughout Will in Scarlet! I also really like how unexpected and surprising the well known villains, such as the Sheriff of Nottingham, are Will in Scarlet.

The thrills, gasp-worthy fight scenes, swashbuckling, well-meaning robbery, and clever schemes abound as these good-hearted, sometimes fumbling Merry Men turn into heroes. And the humor and laughs flow greatly throughout Will in Scarlet! There’s so much silly, slapstick, laugh-out-loud, pitch-perfect humor in this story that I found myself giggling every couple of pages.

My Final Thoughts: You may think you know the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, but Will in Scarlet will introduce you to a WHOLE new side of these character and this legend that you never imagined!


Originally from the Midwest, Matthew Cody now lives in New York City with his wife and son. When not writing books or goofing off with his family, he teaches creative writing to kids of all ages.

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Brenda said...

A reimagining with a historical flair, set in Sherwood Forest yep going on the TBR pile.

Carl Scott said...

The tales of Robin Hood were some of my favorite stories when I was young. I'm pretty fearless, if I were one of the Merry Men I think I'd be Carlos the Brave.

Jillyn said...

I love retellings and reimaginings. I've yet to read one on Robin Hood, and I'll have to check this one out.

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

Oh this sounds awesome! I love Robin Hood stories, but you so rarely see one about those around him. I'm definitely going to have to read this one.

Orchid said...

So excited for another Robin Hood retelling!!!! Will in Scarlet sounds like a great read.

anne s. said...

my fun nickname would be annie bananie