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?
Rosamund Hodge writes some of the best YA retellings out there. I already loved Cruel Beauty which was such a unique take on Beauty and the Beast. I didn’t think she could do even better than that but she did. Crimson Bound was amazing and I absolutely loved it.
It already starts with such an impressive first paragraph that sucked me right in and I just knew I was going to like it after reading just that. So beautifully dark and inviting, I knew I was in for a gritty and thrilling read.
I absolutely LOVED Rashelle. Someone who just wants to be a good person and only do good and help people but has to fight the darkness inside herself. She is seen as a monster by nearly everyone around her and is constantly afraid of loosing herself to the darkness. This is the kind of character I find the most interesting and I was entranced by her story and couldn’t get enough of it. I was eager to find out how long she can resist the darkness, was even kind of hoping for her to loose herself already from pretty early on because it was only going to be even more interesting.
I found some of the other characters just as interesting. Rosamund Hodge writes exactly the kind of characters I like.
What fell flat for me though was the romance. It wasn’t bad but I didn’t like it much either. It actually felt somewhat awkward at times and they spoke of love way to quickly and when they did, I just didn’t feel it.
I also wasn’t impressed by the plot twist at the end. Some things just weren’t really surprising and I knew about them pretty early. That didn’t mean that I liked it any less though. I was just eagerly awaiting for things to be revealed and to see if I was right. The ending might not have been a big surprise to me, but it was still pretty thrilling. How it all came together and was resolved was great even though I had wished for a somewhat darker ending.
Overall it is still an epic retelling. I absolutely adore how Rosamund Hodge only makes use of the general idea of the fairy tale and creates something new and truly unique. I love that she also adds mythology to the mix, especially as it’s always of the kind I don’t know about so that it makes a mix that is really refreshing and stands out against so many other retellings.
I enjoyed Crimson Bound a whole lot and even though I didn’t like the romance and wasn’t surprised by the bigger revelations towards the end, I still loved it even more than Cruel Beauty. I can’t wait to read more by Rosamund Hodge and hope she is going to write more retellings in the future.