Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

"Do you think that doing the right thing will always be pretty?"

An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel Beauty.

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 a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic . . . and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Crimson Bound | Rosamund Hodge | YA | Fantasy & Magic | May 5, 2015 Balzer + Bray 

"There was no way she could ever escape herself and become the lovely, innocent girl in the mirror.  But that was for the best. Because lovely, innocent girls could not ever hope to fight the Devourer."

I really loved Rosamund Hodge's first book Cruel Beauty. I was completely swept away by her lush writing, vivid world building, and multifaceted characters that I grew to adore. I immediately knew that I had to read her newest story Crimson Bound featuring her own retelling inspired by "Little Red Riding Hood" and the lesser known tale of "The Girl With No Hands." I wanted to be taken once more to an enchanted land full of poetic inspired imagery - with a new heroine to discover. Crimson Bound unraveled its red thread and took me by the hand into another fantastic read that captivated me until its last page.

One of my favorite aspects about the stories Rosamund Hodge creates is the way she seems to pull bits and pieces from fairy tales and myths to create something familiar, yet uniquely reimagined. Crimson Bound is no exception. There's a village in danger of an encroaching forest where the dangerous forestborn reside. Here within the forest's darkness waits the Devourer. I don't want to say too much for those who have yet to read the story, but this is where the landscape of the forest, both physical and otherwordly, entwines with that of the fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood." 

I have a soft spot for dark heroines, the ones who struggle with inner turmoil, and that is why Rachelle won me over. In a moment of weakness she makes a terrible choice, one that will bind her to the very power she has sworn to protect her village from. Rachelle is the kind of damaged, imperfect heroine I can't help but hope and cheer for. She makes mistakes, but does not give up.

The romance was twisted between two very different guys with Rachelle walking a path towards one and away from the other. I loved how the theme from "The Girl With No Hands" was made new and the supernatural was played against romantic love.

With a quest for magical swords, enchanted forests, and an oppulent fairy tale palace in Crimson Bound - there is no shortage of action and romance. Dark magic, intrigue, friendship, love and redemption are all found here. A captivating read of dark fairy tale magic.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars. I loved it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Balzer + Bray in exchange for my fair review. Thank you, Balzer + Bray for the review opportunity!