by Rosamund Hodge
Summary: 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.)
Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.
Crimson Bound was a retelling of the Little Red Hiding Hood fairy tale with some unique and dark twists. Rachelle began as a woodwife protecting the village against the darkness of the forest, but she trusted the wrong instinct and became cursed as a result. She lived her life as one of the King’s bloodbound, cursed, but attempting to atone for her sins by defeating the woodland creatures.
The story itself sounds amazing. There was darkness, the threat of the wood creeping in, and a dark entity that could devour the sun and all of the light. There was even romance and friendship and Rachelle had to make difficult choices. It was full of various fantasy aspects, riddles to uncover, and magic.
However, something was missing. I found myself pulled out of the story often, finding it hard to stay focused on the events. It was missing some vital element for me and wasn’t as captivating as I felt it should be. Cruel Beauty did something similar for me, so it’s possible that there’s something about the author’s writing style that just doesn’t suck me into the story. I’m not really sure.
If you enjoyed the author’s previous books, then Crimson Bound is something I recommend, but if you’ve never read her books, I’m not sure that I’d recommend it because I don’t know why I don’t completely enjoy her novels. Instead, I would probably recommend Uprooted by Naomi Novik if you like the idea of a dark wood threatening to destroy everything. It was one of my favorite reads of 2015 and it executed the idea much better in my opinion, as it sucked me in from the very first page. This will likely be my last shot at any Rosamond Hodge novels unless I get some amazing feedback about another one of her books.