By: Rosamund Hodge
Published: May 5th 2015 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)
*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.
Goodreads description--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.
I listened to Cruel Beauty on audio a while back, and I enjoyed it. But I also think I enjoyed it as much as I did because it was on audio. It had more of a slow progression than I typically enjoy, so I was a little concerned about reading Crimson Bound over listening to the audio version. But sometimes you don’t really get much choice in the format, so I was just happy to have the opportunity to read and review Crimson Bound. And well, Crimson Bound was a little slow. And truthfully, I might have liked it better had I been listening to the audiobook versus reading it. But I did enjoy it.
Crimson Bound is kind of a combination of two fairytales: Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl With No Hands. Personally, I know nothing about The Girl With No Hands, and so I wasn’t able to really look for how all the pieces of that fairytale fit into Crimson Bound. The ins and outs of the world Rosamund Hodge created in Crimson Bound are fairly complicated to describe. It was easy to understand while reading, but to break things down for you here would be a bit much.
As the description says, Rachelle makes a bad decision that ends up with her being bound to the evil she was trying to figure out how to defeat. Even as a young girl, Rachelle never wanted to sit idly by as the world around her suffers. Now she’s faced with carrying the guilt of her decisions with her or die trying to redeem herself and save those who she was seeking to save from the beginning.
The description isn’t quite accurate when it says that Armand—who Rachelle is charged with guarding—is the man she hates most. She hates the Devourer. She hates the forestborn who turned her bloodbound, and she hates the bishop. Armand…well he falls in line definitely after these three. Armand survived what Rachelle could not. When a forestborn approached him to turn him bloodbound, Armand was able to resist completeing the process and Rachelle hates what that means. It means that she might have been able to resist too. And that’s what Rachelle hates. Herself.
Like Rachelle, I wasn’t fully sure who to trust or who to root for in the beginning. And even when the emotional connection began to develop with Rachelle, I had a hard time connecting to her choice fully. I didn’t really have all of the twists figured out beforehand, but I also didn’t feel the need to try. The ending felt a little clean for me. But this is based off a fairytale afterall.
-“I grow impatient, little girl.” “Then learn to wait,” she bit out..
-“Do you think that doing the right thing will always be pretty?”
-“I think sometimes there is no right thing.”
-…”my mother used to say that if we all got what we deserved, we’d all be dead. And yet somehow God refrains from smiting us.”
-She was bloodbound, after all, and being bloodbound meant knowing how easily I could never turned into Yes, I will.
In the end, I enjoyed Crimson Bound. I wanted to keep reading and was more invested than I thought I would be. Yet at the same time, Crimson Bound was also easy to put down when I needed to. When I finished Crimson Bound I realized that it was a good book, but not exceptional. There wasn’t much for me to complain about, but I wasn’t blown away either. Crimson Bound gets 3 Stars. Have you read Crimson Bound? What did you think? Let me know!