Crimson Bound


Rating: 3 Stars
Published: May 2015
Genre: YA // Fantasy // Fairy Tale Retelling
Favorite Quote:

“She realized she was shaking.  In the distance, the music tinkled on, as if all the world were an orderly music box and none of them were doomed.”

Summary taken 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?

Crimson Bound is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl With No Hands.

I adored Cruel Beauty and Gilded Ashes so I was ecstatic to read this new novel of Rosamund Hodge. However, it unfortunately did not live up to my expectations.  The book is set in a fictional reimagining of France. While I enjoyed the setting, I had thought it would have been set in the same world as the Cruel Beauty Universe.  That’s not the reason why it was disappointing, though.  The Great Forest is not what I was expecting. I wish it had been more fleshed out. I didn’t get the best idea of the creatures that lived in it.

“It’s … an instinct.  For any sort of fighting.  It’s like reading a book, I suppose.  You don’t know the words until you see them, but you have them as soon as you do.”

What I liked: 

  • I did love the tale of Zisa & Tyr that was thrown in throughout of it.
  • The Great Forest was a really cool concept.
  • The historical aspect was cool because it felt like this story could have happened in an alternate universe.
  • Rachelle had been really human with her guilt and that was interesting.
  • There were a lot of moments that I loved most of which happened with Rachelle & Amelie.

What I feel didn’t work: 

  • The story, in general, was a little confusing for me.
  • I hated that the cover matched Cruel Beauty, it made it even more confusing that it wasn’t in the same universe.
  • But the entire novel wasn’t very strong to me.  I was interested and wanted to keep reading until the end when I just wanted it to be over.  This book dragged for me. I wanted to love it because I loved the concept but I just couldn’t.
  • The romance of Rachelle & Armand felt a bit forced and too fast for me. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t insta love but it wasn’t natural. But I might just be too cynical.
  • Rachelle had this nasty habit of comparing Armand to Erec.  It was a case of showing not telling.

What I wanted more of:

  • Rachelle fighting.
  • The Great Forest
  • Lore
  • More info on the woodwives & charms

Over all, it was a mostly enjoyable read but I couldn’t help but be disappointed in the ending, especially. It wrapped up really nicely and was marginally satisfying but getting there was rough. I wouldn’t say that I wish I hadn’t read it but I’m not sure if it was entirely worth my time. I guess I really just wish I had borrowed it from the library instead of getting really excited and buying it.

Have any of you read it? What were your thoughts?


2 thoughts on “Crimson Bound

  1. I really loved Cruel Beauty as well so all the lukewarm reviews on Crimson Bound makes me a little sad. I dislike a sloppy plot- sigh. But I’ll probably still get it because I really like that cover, I don’t mind that it matches Cruel Beauty haha. Hope you enjoy your next read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I exaggerated, I don’t mind that it matches it, but I hated that it was a little misleading haha. I hope you enjoy it more than I did! And thanks, I adored my next book. 🙂


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