Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Book Three of the Scarlet trilogy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

What I Liked:

Eh. I'm feeling kind of meh about this one. On the one hand, I can see why people are loving this one. It was good! But for me, it wasn't great, and the entire series has been okay at best for me. I thought Scarlet was pretty good (the romance is weird though. If I remember correctly, there was a love triangle in book one, but not in book two). I didn't like Lady Thief very much at all - I gave it two stars. But this one was okay. It was a good trilogy conclusion novel. 

This novel starts with Scarlet in Prince John's dungeons. She's been held captive for three months. With the help from a strange source, she escapes, and tries to figure out her best plan of action. He grandmother, the lady Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, wants her to go to Ireland safely. But Scarlet can't stay away from Nottinghamshire, especially since Rob thinks she's dead. But the fight to keep Richard alive and bring him back safely is bigger than any one person, and stopping John is the most important thing. Scarlet will have to make difficult decisions, with or without Rob.

One thing that I really liked about this book is how easy it is to slip back into the world of Marian (Scarlet) and Prince John's schemes and the poor. I barely remember anything from Lady Thief (to be honest, I remember nothing at all). I remember a little from Scarlet. But it was nice that I didn't feel lost in this book, though the beginning took me by surprise (I forgot that Scarlet was taken by Prince John?). 

The romance is better in this book, or maybe I simply can't remember how "bad" it was in Lady Thief. Either way, I wasn't nearly as bothered with the romance as I was in Lady Thief. Actually, the romance was probably my favorite aspect of the book, and I really enjoyed seeing Scarlet and Rob take things up a notch. Or ten. The romance definitely worked in this book, and quite frankly, I kept reading the book for the romance. But over one hundred pages into the book is when Rob makes his first appearance. Just a warning.

Read on for things that didn't work! There aren't many, but this one still ends up with a three-star rating.

What I Did Not Like:

I just wasn't interested in this book. I'd been pushing off reading it for a while now, but I told myself, I need to read it now. I picked it up and wasn't totally sucked in. It wasn't until Rob finally appeared in the book that I perked up a little bit. But then I settled back into the story and was a little bored again. I feel like a lot focused on the romance (which is fine), a subplot romance (between two characters other than Rob and Scarlet), and not enough attention was focused on the bigger picture.

At the same time, the bigger picture definitely was addressed. Scarlet and Robin have to raise enough money to pay the taxes for Nottinghamshire, in order to help pay the ransom for Richard. I guess I wanted more from the historical side of things. Richard isn't in this book at all, and the parts relating to Prince John just aren't that interesting.

Prince John felt like a cartoon villain character, especially in the last scene of the book. His dialogue is so cliche and cartoon-like! His character in general is very one-dimensional. I think I remember thinking that Robin is a bit one-dimensional in Lady Thief. I think Robin is less one-dimensional, but Prince John is definitely a flat and underdeveloped character. Not to mention he speaks like he came out of a really bad cartoon for tiny children.

The ending wasn't fulfilling for me, as you can probably tell. The ending is literally the climax, and there is not epilogue, or at least an ending scene that ISN'T part of the action of the climax. I don't really like it when books that are conclusion novels to a series don't end with some sort of epilogue ending, in which all loose ends are definitively tied. 

Overall, I think my big problem with this book is a personal one - I just wasn't interested in this book. I really wanted to finish the series, but this one did not capture my attention, nor did it hold my attention while I was reading. It was an enjoyable read, but not a series I'll be reading again.

Would I Recommend It:

Again, I enjoyed this book, but the series overall gets a 2.5-3-star-rating. That being said, I probably wouldn't recommend the series. If you've come this far and have read books one and two, then you should definitely read this one! But don't start the series if you haven't already. Don't read books two or three if you've only read book one. Just move on!


3 stars. This one was okay! Just not that great. At least for me. I've seen a ton of positive reviews on Goodreads for this book. But this series never really clicked with me, so I had little expectations to love this one. If you've been liking the series, then this one will probably be good!

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  1. Hmmm, so not so enthusiastic about this series, then? I have it on the wish list because Sarah loved it, so I hope I'll enjoy it more than you did, Alyssa!

  2. I haven't read this series, I'm not sure that I will :(

    1. Honestly I'd recommend you didn't! You're not missing much, Liza.

  3. I have this series on my audio wish list, this sounds like something I would prefer on audio.

    1. I hope you enjoy it when you listen to it, Nereyda!

  4. Aw, hugs. Gorgeous review Alyssa. <3 But aw, I'm so sorry this book wasn't that good for you :( but yay for not hating it, lol :) So glad you loved the romance. <3 I think it seems awesome. I liked book one. Haven't read book two yet. Waiting for this one to come out :) Soon!

    1. Ahhh, I see. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the next two books, Carina!


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