Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
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.
Me being the fairytale fanatic that I am had read Cruel Beauty, the Beauty and the Beast retelling by Rosamund Hodge and loved it so much I automatically knew that I had to get Crimson Bound.
I am telling you now that Crimson Bound blew Cruel Beauty out of the water. It was glorious. Crimson Bound is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling and it was everything I could have hoped for and so much more. First of all, it was dark and gritty and has good symmetry with the original fairytale but it was mostly something else entirely.
This story is not only based on the Little Red but it’s basically about faeries and no one can tell me different. There is this beautiful deadly and dangerous world that is parallel with the one the characters live in and it’s the Great Forest. A forest with these mythical magical creatures, that have magic, a human like but creature like, beautiful, awful and deadly. If that doesn’t sound like the fae then I don’t know what does and I love stories about the fae so this book had combined two story subjects I love, fairytales and the fae.
The story was expertly created as it is with her previous stories and like them the main character is unbelievable flawed but strives to be something else, something better. Rachelle was brave, kind, strong, feisty and most of all she endured. She endured all of her sins and she tried her damnedest to make her life count for something. She could have buckled so many times in this tale but she didn’t, she fought with every ounce and you can’t help but admire that, even if to some she might have not been the most likeable (I loved her).
As for the other characters, I love them, I loved them all even the villains. Each one of the characters surprised me in some way, they all had a secret side to them that I couldn’t have expected. They were complicated and unique and so very human even some of the inhuman ones. I wish I could get in this more but I am afraid I don’t know how without spoiling it for anyone so..
Something else that pulled me in was the darkness of this book. The darkness was beautiful, the darkness of the Great Forest was frightening beautiful and I can’t help but wish I could go there. The description of it was written beautiful, it was almost mesmerizing. Of course that could be just me since I have a thing for forests in stories. Also I love the opulence of the world surrounding those in power. The parties they have, the clothing and everything seemed so decadent and slightly appealing, I guess is was the time of that area kinda reminds me of Marie Antoinette, you know before the off with her head thing.
Crimson Bound has solidified Rosamund Hodge for me, know I am will to read anything and everything of her for now on. I plan on reading all of her short stories that are posted online and almost anything else she puts out. This book had magic and saints, creatures and murder, rebellion, betrayal, forgiveness, love, mystery and a battle to save the world and a soul.