Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Thursday, April 9, 2015
Why I chose this book:
This book has been on my TBR list since it came out that she was writing it. I quite enjoyed Cruel Beauty despite its issues, and I expected to really enjoy Crimson Bound. As most of you know, I have had a few bumps in the road when it comes to retellings, but I swear, I enjoy Hodge’s retellings even more than I expected.

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: May 5th, 2015
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
B&N  ||  Amazon  ||  Book Depository

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 worlds 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 year 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? (Goodreads)

My Bookish Loves:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Can’t I just love everything? This entire book? Because I really do! There’s not one thing I would change, or take away. It was all so beautiful. 

First, she wove such a great story using the base of the fairytales: Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl with No Hands. Though there were whispers and homages to each of those tales, this book was purely her own. It was intriguing, original, imaginative, and completely and utterly worth entrancing from the first line to the very last word.

Second, I really loved the characters. Rachelle’s character was wonderful in that she held on to her humanity (even by a thread) while also still retaining her superior bad-assness.  She was beautiful and intriguing and I could not stop completely enjoying the complexity of her character. She had so many layers, and Hodge pulled them off very well. Armand had twists up his sleeves and was also such a genuine good guy that I couldn’t not root for him. Erec on the other hand was his antithesis and continued to surprise me, and lure me in, and make me love him in his own way. From beginning to end, I can’t believe the difference yet absolute beauty of the characters she created. It astound me even now, two weeks after having read the book. 

Another very interesting aspect that I loved about this book was the setting and religion. It was set in a renaissance France I’m guessing with a people who are deeply rooted in both superstition and religion (particularly a quasi-Catholicism). This religion provided a lot of ideas that makes not only the characters but the readers as well stop and think. The following quote in particular astounded me:

“I was pure as an angel and proud as a devil,” Justine went on, frowning slightly as she stared into the distance. “Only, I found that neither purity nor pride was courage enough in the end.”

This book is full of amazing little snippets and lines that make you whisper damn, that’s good writing. I probably highlighted over 30 lines in that book, and I’m not sorry about it.

Final Thoughts:
This book is utterly fantastic! As soon as it is released, I am buying myself a hardcover copy to put alongside Cruel Beauty. This is a must read even if you didn’t like Cruel Beauty. It’s so worth reading, that I’m telling everyone they need to save up enough money to buy the hardcover.

If this book had a warning label, it would look a lot like this:
WARNING: This book is riddled with so many astounding lines you may just pass out from such amazing storytelling.

I gave this book 5+ stars on my Goodreads.


  1. I had a hard time with Cruel Beauty, but I'm going to give this the benefit of the doubt. Great review!

    1. Oh definitely give this one the benefit of the doubt. Especially, since you didn't like Cruel Beauty. I had some issues with it even though I really enjoyed it, but this one blew CB out of the water!

  2. OHMYGOD I NEEEEEEEED THIS. Murder and red riding hoods and forests and beautiful words... I need it.
    Also, can I just take a moment to say that Rosamund Hodge has THE best taste in fairytales? Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood are my favourites, and no one really writes adaptations for them.
    Beth x

    1. Oh girl, you are in for a whirlwind and a beautiful and jaded story. It's GLORIOUS!

  3. Wow! This sounds like a great book. I like retellings and I've been wanting to read more of them. This sounds like a good place to start. The characters sound amazing. And I love thought-provoking and quotable writing. Some authors just amaze me.

    1. YES definitely a good place to start! I was constantly highlighting and by the end of the book, I was amazed!

  4. I'm going to have to get my hands on a finished copy somehow. This book is so stunning! I forgot about the little individual passages, and it's hard for me to remember anything when it's Kindle format anyway. I'm sure the second read will be even better :D

    1. Oh I know! Me too! I need a finished copy of this beautiful beautiful book! Yeah, actually, you know it's proven that you are more likely to forget what happens in a book if you read an ebook format? Interesting.

  5. I honestly really really disliked Cruel Beauty. I wanted to like it so badly! Despite that, as soon as I saw this was coming out I was dying to read it. I have since danced around it because I don't want to be disappointed like before. Your review made me excited to try it so I think I'll have to give it a go anyways!

    1. I really enjoyed Cruel Beauty, but I realized that it had some MAJOR flaws as well. I ended up giving it 3 stars, but this one was definitely more well rounded in plot, character, everything. And the writing was even more superb! You really should read this one, even if you didn't like Cruel Beauty!


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