Nov 24, 2021

Review--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 hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as they become unexpected allies, they discover 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 finally, finally picked up an old TBR book and decided on Rosamund Hodge's Crimson Bound! I loved her first book, Cruel Beauty, and was excited for her Little Red Riding Hood inspired tale as there are not too many of these. I think I've read only 2 books that had a Little Red vibe going on. Sadly, this story did not seem very versed in the fairy tale. I mean, there was girl with a red cloak and she lived on the edge of the forest and never went in there for the dangers that lurked within...but that was about it in similarities. 

I struggle with my terminology with this one too. It took me over a week to read this one, what with starting a new job and all, my reading time was sparse as I tried to find my groove. So things were read sporadically and not always in the best environments where I could absorb what I was reading.

Rachelle was transformed into a bloodbound, a "servant" like being of the evil power lurking in the forest. There's a legend that one day the great evil thing will one day rule the world and darkness will reign over the land. Rachelle being a "servant" of this evil would likely be in a decent role of power, but Rachelle doesn't want power. After having to kill the one she loved most in order to save her own life, Rachelle is itching to get revenge against the beings that "rule" the forest and stop the big bad evil thing from ever rising.

Yet, her position also puts her at the whims of the king and when the king commands that she protects one of his offspring, she has no choice but to obey. Armand is hailed as a saint of sorts, as he too was once called by the evil power. But instead of killing someone, he refused and lost his hands in the process, yet he didn't die. Basically surviving the impossible curse. There are people trying to kill Armand for his sainthood, you could say. This was another thing I didn't quite grasp, the need for Rachelle to be a bodyguard. Yes there were people trying to kill him, but I can't quite recall why. This is what happens to me when I'm reading a book for a very long time.

Another issue I had with the story was the pacing. The pacing just seemed off to me. I never quite found my niche with the storyline. I guess because the lack of Little Red Riding Hood storyline just made me wonder what I was walking into. Yes, I was expecting there to be a huntsman to save the day for Red and dear sweet grandmama, but I guess I was just hoping more for that kind of atmosphere. There was no wolf to be slayed or loved, I was just a bit disappointed with that.

There were plenty of secrets and plot twists thrown about that were perfectly executed! Though I couldn't quite get into the story the way I wanted to, the shocking reveals were quite...shocking. Lol. There was of course a sweet budding romance between Rachelle and Armand, yet I feel like I missed the cues that were pointing to their romance happening. I mean, outside of the description and tagline telling us that they were going to fall in love.

While sadly this book just didn't hold up to my fairy tale retelling standards, it was still a pretty decent read. I guess just with life distractions and all, I just couldn't get into this story the way I had hoped to. It was still a decent fantasy read, I was just disappointed by the lack of fairy tale vibes.


Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars






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