Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Monday, February 23, 2015 with 7 comments
Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: n/a
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)

I loved Crimson Beauty so much that I've already read and/or listened to it over five times since I received the ARC a little over a year ago. Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, followed very closely by Little Red Riding Hood. Intriguing that one of my new favorite authors on the scene has retold both now. And her sophomore novel may have trumped her debut on my list of favorite retellings ever.

The thing is, I can't really talk about the aspect I loved the most in this story because it would probably be considered a major spoiler to most if I revealed anything about it. And because I value romance pretty highly, I myself would consider any mention of this type of romance to be ruining. I can say that the way this romance plays out would disappoint many, especially those who feel very strongly on the kind that feature three points. I discussed it in great length with Lauren, who famously despises LTs and as far as I know, she has plans to stay very far away from this one. Just in case you were wondering. :)

Here's the thing, kids. I've been trying to write this review for weeks. I was blown away by this book when I read it and I've wanted to tell the world ever since, but I wanted to be coherent when I did so. Apparently, when it comes to me and one of Rosamund's books, that's maybe an impossibility I've yet to accept. It's just…the way she weaves a tale you already know and love into a story that's wholly it's own is rather remarkable. I don't like to compare authors because they all have their own style and their own methods, but the way Hodge writes her characters reminds me a lot of Sarah J. Maas. I just love how they always have questionable motives and very little compunction. I live in the gray areas, and I like to see characters that do the same, that battle with good and evil, black and white, on a daily basis. It makes them more real to me.

Crimson Bound is not only based on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood but also on the story of The Girl With No Hands. I absolutely LOVED how Hodge combined these tales to make one truly engaging story, one where the evil is closer than you know or want to admit, and trusting anyone else might be your biggest mistake yet. It's a story where girls are allowed to kill and have unpure thoughts and villains aren't necessarily all evil. I just love a redeemable bad guy….like, there's no other character I like to see more. Besides the heroine who's allowed to be selfish and want things for herself, even if she knows it goes against what she's been taught or who she's sworn to protect. Not everything is black and white, and I fully appreciate a story that can illustrate that without being preachy.

Also, Hodge reminds us of the story's origins by including faerie folk and reminding the MC constantly of what is owed, but I still love how understated the faerie presence is in her stories, despite the fact that many fey have made themselves noticeable at this point in the story. I really enjoy how this author takes fairy tales and flips them on their heads; these stories are definitely inspired by some of my favorite fairy tales, but they don't follow through with those essential happily ever afters, peaking the interest of a hard-core fairy tale lover like me.

This is technically the third story I've read from Rosamund Hodge, but I have to say, it's my favorite. Her characters have become increasingly more complex and the story that much more frenetic, and I have a hard time controlling myself when one lands in my lap. Her stories are not the type to be read sparingly, bit by bit. No, Hodge's stories inevitably need to be read all in one go, by someone who fully understands that life isn't black and white but lived in shades of gray.

GIF it to me straight:
In other words, trust no one.

Cruel BeautyGilded Ashes: A Cruel Beauty Novella

About the author:

I love mythology, Hello Kitty, and T. S. Eliot. I also write YA fantasy novels: CRUEL BEAUTY, where Greek mythology meets Beauty and the Beast, and CRIMSON BOUND, where Little Red Riding Hood meets . . . many strange things.

Find Rosamund:

Website | TwitterFacebookGoodreads


  1. Awesome review. I loved the first book too. I can't wait to read/listen to this one. Question, are the character fromt he first book in this story? i am realy hoping they are but i will live if they aren't. i am not sure if they all act like stand alones or if they are intertwined.

  2. i enjoyed Cruel Beauty but wasn't exactly planning to pick up crimson bound but wow your review.. it makes me want to pick it up!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  3. I really want to read this! I love her other books and her writing style.
    I'm glad you liked this one!

    Bruna @ Bruna Writes

  4. I want this book NOW! <33

    Great review (:

  5. Argh, so many good series I really need to start reading soon! These sound amazing and since I love a good retelling I know I need these books in my life soon!

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