“There were three of them, all with rapiers, and she had only a dagger. It would have been a wretchedly uneven fight, if she were human.
It was still a wretchedly uneven fight; it was just uneven in her favor.”
Book: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
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.
I really don’t know where to start with this book. I mean, I thought Cruel Beauty was good but when I was done with this book I think I just sat stupefied, my mind a blank vacuum. And I mean that in the best way possible. This book is a mashup of Red Riding Hood and The Girl With No Hands (off the top of my head, I can’t figure out which fairytale that was-but don’t worry, the story had some elements which gave me an eerie sense of deja-vu). Normally, I have no patience at all for Little Red. I don’t mean to sound callous, but if you’re a little girl and a wolf tries talking to you on your way to Gramma’s house, then you start screaming and run to the closest crowded place. Jeeze, isn’t that the whole point of Stranger Danger? But Rosamund Hodge did something miraculous in Crimson Bound- she made Red Riding Hood relatable. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a hero? And which teenager hasn’t felt that ridiculous bit of hubris that we could save the world- or if not that, at least change it for the better? I have to admit, my answer to both questions is a ‘not me’. But I’ve learnt that sometimes, our harmless attempts to save the world end up hurting ourselves. And sometimes, talking to a creepy stranger in an attempt to figure out how to defeat his master ends with a pervert taking away what makes you human and dooms you to the life (or maybe, just an existence) of becoming a creep like him. And the result of this situation is one badass but relatable heroine who’s into self-flagellation (I’m weird because I’m majorly into figuratively self-flagellating protagonists. What can I say? Their internal monologues are always interesting.)
Like always, Rosamund Hodge keeps the romance interesting, a little crazy and profound. Okay, make that a lot crazy and a very slow, sweet romance (I know, who would’ve thought?).There’s a confused sort of love-triangle, but even if you don’t like love triangles, don’t immediately strike this book off your list; the romance is so twisted and the characters are so confused about each other, you’ll end up liking it. And the writing is impeccably deep. Some lines or paragraphs will just strike somewhere deep in your heart.
Be warned: Here lie intrigue and betrayal. Let me just say, I saw those betrayals coming about as well as Rachelle did- which is to say, not at all. And those betrayals… they gutted me absolutely. If you like the kind of books which will turn you inside out with their devastating plot twists (that you would have totally seen coming, if only you hadn’t been so absorbed in the story), then you will love this books to bits. You will love it even as the tears are running down your face. That’s a promise.
Overall Rating: 4/5
“This is the human way, she thought. On the edge of destruction, at the end of all things, we still dance. And hope.”
“Mademoiselle, you are very kind,” he said to Soleil. “But I did not lose my hands for the purpose of making you feel special.”