Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Crimson Bound is a magical fantasy novel with a lyrical like writing style that will sweep you away. It has a dark magical Fae feeling, although the creatures aren’t technically Fae. But I think if you like Fae, you’ll really enjoy this book. But I want to start this review with the bad.
It took me a while to get into this book. It just started off slow to me and didn’t immediately suck me in. At about the 100 page mark though, I was hooked and then I couldn’t put it down. So be prepared to give it a chance. Even if you feel like nothing’s happening, push forward because it definitely gets better.
My other issue was the romance. I felt like it was very fast. The “L” word was used much too quickly for two people who have barely spoken to each other. Sure they spend almost every waking minute together with the main character, Rachelle, being his bodyguard, but we never really see them interact and all of a sudden they just love each other? I wasn’t buying it. I did however really like them together so I kind of overlooked it.
The writing is beautiful, just as I remembered from Rosamund Hodge’s first novel, Cruel Beauty.
There’s a lyrical feel to it and it just flows so smoothly. I really enjoyed learning about the Forestborns, creatures of the Dark Forest who hunt humans, and their relationships with their Bloodbounds, humans who have been marked by a Forestborn. I loved that not everybody could see the Dark Forest, that it was a separate world that sometimes overlapped with the humans’ world. I loved how dark and creepy it was, but also beautiful. It drew you in, even though you knew death and danger lurked within its shadows.
The main character, Rachelle was really interesting. I loved how flawed she was. She has done some terrible things in her past and continues to make mistakes. But beneath all of that, beneath the darkness that lurks within her, she truly wants to help people and save the world from certain destruction. I loved watching her fight with the desires resting deep inside her from being a Bloodbound and the human side of her that wants to save her people. She was a very enjoyable character to read about and I would love to hear more from her.
Armand was another really interesting character. He was quiet and reserved and was most certainly harboring some secrets, but he was so intriguing. I wanted to get to know him better, to get him to open up. And as he slowly did, I fell more and more in love with him. I loved how pure his motives were. He didn’t always go about things the right away, but he wanted what was best for the kingdom, even if that meant that he wouldn’t necessarily sit on the throne. He was quite selfless and that made him absolutely amazing.
The other supporting characters grabbed me as well. I loved Rachelle’s best friend, Amelie. She was such a sweet girl. I loved how determined she was to be Rachelle’s best friend, even though all the other humans were terrified of her.
There were a lot of twists and turns in this book. One of them completely shocked me. I suspected something was up, but never what it turned out to be. My jaw dropped to the floor. I love a book that can surprise me. I loved that the journey these characters were on wasn’t easy. They all had to really fight for what they wanted to achieve. Nothing was handed to them. Overall, a deliciously dark fantasy with perfectly flawed characters.
Have you read this one yet? What did you think?