Release Date: May 5th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, the Hodge kind
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.
The story beings with endless night and infinite forest; with two orphaned children and two swords made of broken bone. It has not ended yet.
Crimson Bound is a fairytale like no other. This is the exact same line I opened with on my Cruel Beauty review and I feel it’s only right to introduce it again because it’s true. There is no one out there writing magical retellings and vast mythologies like Rosamund Hodge does. It’s a fact you’ll soon realise once you read her books.
Just a quick note that this not set in the same universe Cruel Beauty is in. There’s a new universe with new characters and new monsters. Needless to say that doesn’t mean the Crimson Bound universe isn’t awesome. If anything, Hodge is really stretching her own personal world here. There’s more historical background, more myths and old tales being told — all of which were just thrilling and fascinating. Hodge is the queen of world-building porn.
This was the Great Forest, the Forest of Dreams and Dreadful Night: the dark, primeval wood that had once covered all the world in the days before the sun and moon.
In Crimson Bound, our main monster – as I like to call it – is the harmless and humble forest…or is it? I’m not a master with words so here’s a brief description: there was once the Devourer — who had the sun and the moon in his belly and held the world in darkness — and infinite forest. There was also the forestborn; vicious monsters who hunted and killed people. They also have the power to “mark” people and turn them into one of their own, but not without a price: the human must kill somebody to become a bloodbound, which means the power of the Forest is with him, or die.
What makes a book unforgettable for me is an unforgettable protagonist, and once again Hodge succeeds. Rachelle Brinon is someone you don’t want to mess around with. She is a savage and brash character, which is the complete opposite of Nyx from Cruel Beauty, who is witty and calculating. But there’s one admirable quality that unites both personas and it’s fierce determination. And of course I’m bringing up this gif again:
Another element that made Cruel Beauty memorable for me was its, well, unlikeable love interest. This time we are presented with a charming and smooth royalty named Armand Vareilles. And not to upset any Hodge fans or first-time readers out there, but he was very pale in comparison to Rachelle. It’s not that I dislike him, trust me, I really admire his character and how he rises to the occasion. I also really liked his chemistry with Rachelle, but he wasn’t memorable…
On the other hand, there is Erec D’Anjou, who together with Rachelle serves as the King’s personal bloodbound. I really liked his character because first of all, he’s a bastard and he damn sure knows it. He doesn’t try to be likeable which makes me like him more! Also, you should know that he is the other component of the love triangle….kidding…..
It’s always going to be a favourite habit of mine to anticipate what will Hodge do this time? What sort of mythology are we going to fall into this time? What sort of society is she creating this time? The legend of siblings Tyr and Zisa enthralled me. There were these chapter breaks that tell their story and every time I was holding my breath. Hodge writes this with such quality that it feels like a real legend as in being told in bonfires.
Lastly, I just want to comment on how cool the King’s bloodbound how! They reminded me so much of the Recon Corps from Shingeki no Kyojin (Eng: Attack on Titan) and how they protect the people from the world’s evil.
At the turn of the first page, I already knew this was going to be one of my favourites of 2015. I mean, how can you not love the magical world of Rosamund Hodge and her stories? I cannot possibly recommend this book enough so I hope I did a nice job of convincing.