Crimson Bound – Rosamund Hodge – Balzer + Bray – Published 5 May 2015
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.
If you are looking for a fairytale retelling that is original and breathtaking you need look no further than Rosamund Hodge’s beautiful books. Crimson Bound is no different. I was grabbed by the very first two lines – what a beginning.
This fairytale retelling has the caliber of a high fantasy. Courts. Demons. Kings. Princes. Magic. An eternal battle. And a dark, enchanted forest.
Rachelle is a Bloodbound. Marked by a Forestborn when venturing into the Great Forest, she was given a choice: die in three days or kill and become a Bloodbound. Three years later, determined to pay for her sins, Rachelle serves in the King’s group of Bloodbound, who hunt other Forestborn and protect the city from the forest and the ever nearing of the Devourer, who plans to swallow the sun and the moon and plunge the world into eternal darkness. But when Rachelle is ordered to protect the King’s illegitimate son Armand, whom the city loves and regards as a saint, she fears it will take away her precious remaining time to find the sword that will stop the approach of the Devourer once and for all. Ensconced at the King’s chateau she trails Armand from one court event to the next and searches for the sword during the night. But she can’t help but notice that Armand is nothing like she believed. Acquiring his help, they continue the search and Rachelle grows more and more intrigued by the man she is ordered to protect.
The plot is expertly woven in Crimson Bound. You can pick up on the threads of familiar fairytales, but there is infinitely more going on. The romance is raw and yet sweet, with the slightest hint of a love triangle (don’t be put off by that, it only adds to the developing tension). Action, suspense, bloodlust, court intrigue. What more could you want? A very enjoyable addition to the fairytale collection.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction
Age guide: 13 and up.
Themes: Romance. Fairytales and retellings.
Published: 5 May 2015 by Balzer + Bray.
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 448 pages.
Author’s website: Rosamund Hodge.