Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

From Goodreads: 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?

My Rating: Wavering between 2.5 and 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After enjoying Rosamund Hodge’s debut novel, Cruel Beauty, last year, I was looking forward to seeing what she would do with a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with Hodge’s sophomore novel because the issues that I had with Cruel Beauty were present in Crimson Bound as well. 

Like Cruel Beauty, Crimson Bound, for example, contained both instant love and a love triangle, neither of which I usually find appealing or necessary. Similarly, although Crimson Bound had some very interesting mythology and worldbuilding, it was confusing as hell to understand it. For instance, I’m still trying to figure out whether the Devourer is supposed to be a god, the devil, or something else altogether. Due to the worldbuilding and the way things were resolved, I also found the ending quite unsatisfying.

On top of all that, I didn’t really like Rachelle since all she seemed to do was have a pity party for herself about how she wanted to save the world and not be a murderer. Meanwhile, I just wanted to tell her, “It was your choice to take off your charms in the presence of a forestborn; if you’re going to be stupid, please don’t expect me to sympathize!”

If you plan on reading a novel by Hodge, I’d recommend Cruel Beauty over Crimson Bound. 

Crimson Bound was released by Balzer + Bray on May 5, 2015. 

Comments About the Cover: Although it’s nice that it looks similar to Cruel Beauty’s, I think it can make people mistakenly assume that the books are sequels – or at least, companion novels. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.


  1. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first book and I honestly had no desire whatsoever to read this. You just confirmed my opinion. I can't really enjoy a book if none of the characters are particularly likeable. So I'll just pass. :)

  2. Ehh yeah, I had the same problems with the first book, though I did end up enjoying it overall. I'm unsure yet whether I'll get to this one. It certainly won't be a priority for me anyways.

  3. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't like this one as much as the first. I, too, loved the first book and thought this one didn't stand as strong but I still enjoyed it. I think I let the romance go because I kind of expected it, at least the insta-love with that one guy. The guy she actually ended up with I really liked.

  4. I'm so bummed Z! This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, but it's been getting hugely lackluster reviews so now I'm thinking I might wait. I've heard Rachelle is a little tricky and she does some things that I know are going to frustrate me. *sigh*

  5. All the issues you mentioned here are ones I had with Cruel Beauty when I read it recently. Unfortunately, those issues really hindered my enjoyment for the first book so I'm really not sure if I'll check out this one^^ I have a feeling it'll frustrate me even more. I wanted to like the first one though, which is why I'm tempted to give this one a chance. I'm in no rush to in any case now. Lovely review though^^ x

  6. So these aren't companion novels? I'm so confused. I definitely thought they took place in the same world. Cruel Beauty is on the reading list in Illinois and was on my tbr list since the premise sounds interesting so I'm going to read that one. I think I'll wait to read this one for now.

  7. I adored Cruel Beauty and have yet to read Crimson Bound. It is news to me that these are not companion novels?! I assumed they were. I am hoping to read Crimson Bound soon, so I am also hoping it won't be so disappointing!


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.