Thursday, April 30, 2015

[Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge]

"Crimson Bound"
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: None
Pages: 448
Genre: YA, Fairytale Retelling
Date Published: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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.)

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Crimson Bound,

You're the kind of book that I don't like to put down. You tell a story and tell it so well. You're gritty and dark and weird, and so beautifully written that you enrapture your reader. Book, you also managed to tell the story Little Red Riding Hood in such a brand new way, that I didn't feel like I had ever read anything like this version before, and that's a hard thing to do. I applaud you! And I salute you!

-The White Unicorn

It's not a surprise that I LOVED Hodge's first novel Cruel Beauty (a retelling of Beauty and the Beast). I raved about that book as well, and I have to say that I have all the same feelings about Crimson Bound (Little Red Riding Hood) as well. Hodge has definitely just snuck her way onto my instant-buy list. She has this way with words, and this way with blood, and this way with making you feel all the things. Seriously, this book made me feel a lot of different things. 

Rachelle was the perfect lead. She's not a saint, she's got loads of blood on her hands, she doesn't know what to do with herself, but she knows what she must do. She's a bit of an anti-hero, but she's also the kind of anti-hero that you find yourself rooting for. She feels this darkness inside of her that she listens to sometimes, but usually, her very human heart kicks in, and takes over. She's edgy, but she's still someone that you can relate to. 

This is one of the first books that I've read this year, where I didn't feel like I was reading a love triangle, even though there were totally two gents trying to snag some cuddle time with Rachelle. Hodge writes both guys in such a genuine way that they fill different parts of the story. Armand is that hate to love story that will make you feel all the feels, and Erec is the snark-filled-ass that we have all met at some point in our lives. The males in this story are just what they need to be.

That being said, the story is so much more than a love story. It's really a story all about Rachelle finding herself and her life calling. It's about a girl who was fooled by an imposter in the woods, and The Devour that is coming to destroy the world. Rachelle is the only one who feels like she can stop it, even though she's supposed to be on evil's side. 

The mythology that Hodge creates for this retelling of Little Red is masterful. We get to see glimpses of the original tale as Rachelle's timeline also unfolds, and it's the greatest ever. I have to say that I can't find anything wrong with this one. If you like creepy tales that are birthed from stories that you know well, look no farther than this novel!

  5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this one NOW!

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