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.)
Would you kill someone else to save yourself?
First things first, this book is kind of like Little Red Riding Hood if you tilt you head at it and squint a little. The influence is there, but Hodge expanded the myth, using it instead as a prologue of sorts, rather than the overall plot. It works out pretty well, but don’t pick up Crimson Bound expecting wolves and little girls. Crimson Bound is way darker than that. Demons, not wolves, and we’ve got forest demons-fairy hybird things, that’s the best way I can describe the monsters of Crimson Bound, and honestly, it’s a spin on the traditional idea of Fae and humans. I think that’s probably one of the best parts of Crimson Bound; the world, it just works. It’s mysterious, beautiful and deadly and while it has a ghostly feeling of being familiar, Hodge’s world is completely unique.
The main character is interesting; Rachelle is the badass we’ve come expect in young adult books, but she has more. Rachelle is guilty, haunted, proud and flawed. It was great to see more flaws than just hotheaded and stubborn. It was interesting, new even. Same with the side characters, everyone was deeper than average, and it just added made the story so much better.
Okay, so why am I only giving four targets if I really have no complaints that come to mind? As great as the book was, I don’t think it went the extra mile in becoming an amazing book. Yes, it’s a good book, but there was no take away. With Red Queen, I gave it five targets because I saw potential to do something that could happen in the next book, but Crimson Bound told Rachelle’s entire story, and while it was a good story, I didn’t walk away with something to think about.