Friday, August 21, 2015

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge ARC Review

Crimson Bound

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Rosamund Hodge
Published: May 5th, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

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.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)



Well its official, Rosamund Hodge is definitely one of the most unique writers I have ever read. I'm still debating if that's a good thing or a bad. While on one view point I really enjoyed this book and the writing style, and the different world Hodge created. But on the other, I just couldn't get into it like I hoped. I found some parts to be odd and completely absurd. With a weird plot twist, and a complexity to the story that I just couldn't flow with. I think going into this novel a little hesitant, and not having my exceptions too high, put me on guard and made it hard for me to fully open up to this world. But I was also really intrigued by the synopsis, I knew from reading Hodge's debut, CRUEL BEAUTY, and not really connecting with that story either, not to expect anything I would fall in love with.

At first I didn't like CRIMSON BOUND, at all. But then as the story progressed, and we get more character development with our main character, and also with the side characters Armand and Erec, I started to soften more towards the story, and was able to put my issues aside, even though I still found myself questioning whether I truly liked it or not, and if I should DNF it. But ultimately I decided to stick with it, and by the end of the book I was invested in the world and characters, and was enjoying it way more then I ever anticipated. Though I still found it weird and not my favorite book, but I also enjoyed it and thought it wrapped up nicely. I guess you could say me and Hodge's writing style and weird worlds just don't mix that well. Even though her plot descriptions are fascinating.



"In all your life, your only choice," Aunt Léonie said to her once, "is the path of needles or the path of pins."

Rachelle remembered that, the day that she killed her....

Rachelle Brinon has been training to be her aunts apprentice, to one day take over as the next woodwife, to weave the charms that protect her village, and remember the true ancient lore. But unfortunately for Rachelle, that never happens, and she becomes her enemy...

Rachelle desperately wanted to find a way to save her world from the evil in the Great Forest, and the looming threat of the mythical Devourer that is set to awaken, and plunge their world back into darkness, and unleash his Bloodbound's and Forestborn's on all human kind, forcing them to be their eternal slaves. But being fifteen and naive, Rachelle makes a quick decision that cost her the life she once knew. And now she is paying for that mistake by becoming the enemy, the one thing she fought to defeat, by becoming a bloodbound, and slowly losing her humanity, and on the brink of becoming the ultimate evil, a Forestborn...

"A forestborn puts a mark on a human," she said. "The human must kill somebody in three days or die. If he kills somebody, he becomes a bloodbound, which means the power of the Forest is growing in him, until finally he gives up and the last of his human heart and becomes a Forestborn."


Three years later Rachelle is now living in the castle, working for the king to hunt down and kill Bloodbound's like herself. A job Rachelle unwittingly hopes in a way will redeem herself for the life she took, by killing the very same evil that now lives inside her. And by killing the Bloodbound's she will be stopping the growth from Bloodbound to Forestborn, and saving their world from another Lord of the Great Forest being born, and preying on innocent humans like herself at one time.

But Rachelle has never given up hope to one day prove that the Devourer is in fact real, and that the threat is coming. And is determined to find some way to stop him and save their world from the darkness that will rule if the Devourer ever awakens, and claims their world again. Her only hope lies in Durendal and Joyeuse, two mythical swords that some claim are lost to time. But Rachelle is not giving up that easy, and finding the swords will prove to be more difficult then she ever imagined.

But her plans to follow the clues to the swords whereabouts are thwarted when the king orders her to guard his son, Armand—the saint that supposedly survived the mark of a Forestborn, and lived to tell about it. He is a saint to his people, but Rachelle knows the truth, he's a con artist, a lair that revels in the unwavering devotion of the people around him. And now she is stuck with him, unless she wants to feel the wrath of the kings for defying his orders. But what Rachelle never imagined was that Armand is actually more usefully then she ever anticipated, and that he may be the key to the kingdoms undoing, and the aid she needs to find the swords and end the Devourer once and for all. And she may just lose her heart along the way...

Overall, CRIMSON BOUND was not the best book I read this year, but not the worst either. I think me and Hodge's world's just don't mesh well, and they're just so different then anything I've ever read, that I can't fully appreciate the originality of her stories. But who knows, maybe I'm all wrong too. But nevertheless, I did still enjoy this story once I got to the end, even with the bumps along the way and my struggles with the beginning and middle of the book. But I'm happy to say that by the end it was well worth the read, and her next novel BRIGHT SMOKE, COLD FIRE sounds fantastic, and I will definitely be reading more of her books regardless of me not loving her first two books. So would I recommended it? Hells yes! A lot of people have enjoyed this story, so I'm wondering if it was just me, or bad timing on my part. But with me still overall enjoying the novel, I think others may as well!

NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Harper Teen for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!


Rosamund Hodge loves mythology, Hello Kitty, and T. S. Eliot. She writes YA fantasy that draws on two of those things. In her wild youth, she studied Medieval English at Oxford; she now lives in Seattle and writes wildly. Visit her on the web at or follow her on Twitter: @rosamundhodge.



  1. I keep reading blog posts about this author and her books, and I haven't read one yet, but plan to. Thanks for such a detailed review and what you liked and didn't. I usually really enjoy fairy-tale re-tellings, so I still want to try the author out, but maybe with a different book!

  2. OOh nice! Hodge definitely has a unique sort of style. I really liked Cruel Beauty and still need to read this one! Though I heard it's quite different from the two fairy tales it's supposed to be based off of. Regardless it's one I still must find time to read! LOL! Glad you liked it overall! Great review!

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  4. This is so much to take in! I love Rosamund Hodge other book's Cruel Beauty. When I found about this I was so happy but it's true with her writing style when sometimes I'm just reading not really getting into the book. I may still read this even if it's not in the same universe.

  5. Found your site from a friends Facebook link, it seems that you have growing fanbase and I now undertsand why Super informative article, Alpha XTRM thanks a million.Good thorough ideas here.Id like to suggest taking a look at things like graphic bomb. What do you think?

  6. Yeah, so.... I haven't started this series yet. And all of the reasons you stated for not loving it, they make me concerned that I wouldn't love it either. I know i just need to try it myself sometime, but there are so many other series and books that I KNOW I would love. So what do ya do?!

  7. I love fairy tale retellings, so I will definitely give this one a read. Thanks for your honest review. I still need to read the Cruel Beauty series, so I don't know if I will like her writing style.

  8. Thanks for the review. I haven't read anything by Rosamund Hodge yet, but unique and original sounds good to me. I'll be adding this to my tbr pile.

  9. In Italy it's not out yet, but I think it will be very soon! I cannot wait! I love the cover, it's beautiful!! Thank you for the review!

  10. In Italy it's not out yet, but I think it will be very soon! I cannot wait! I love the cover, it's beautiful!! Thank you for the review!

  11. I still need to read this! And also the one before it.


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