Summary: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?
This is the human way, she thought. On the edge of destruction, at the end of all things, we still dance. And hope.
I might not have been the biggest fan of Hodge’s Cruel Beauty, but Crimson Bound is infinitely better than Hodge’s debut. This book is many things; but, above all, it is a clever and eerily atmospheric retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
When a human is marked by a forestborn, they have two choices: to kill someone or to be killed. Three years ago, 16-year-old Rachelle strayed into the forest and was marked by a forestborn, and she paid the price: her life for the life of her aunt.
Now a member of the King’s court, Rachelle hears a legend of a sword that might destroy the deadly forest that the forestborn live in. But in doing so, she is forced to take risks and gambles with stakes higher than she could have ever imagined.
Rachelle is your typical fantasy heroine – fierce, spunky and badass. Despite the lack of originality in her personality and her resemblance to so many other YA protagonists, somehow Hodge manages to write her character in a way that makes her feel fresh and original even though her personality is clearly a bit cliche within the genre.
Crimson Bound is indeed a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but the comparisons between both stories are virtually invisible. There are no wolves or grandmothers; at least not literally. The way the two stories intertwine is more on a metaphoric level than anything else. Readers who like their retellings word-for-word as the original may not find this book especially appealing, but being aware of the fact that this is such a loose retelling before beginning to read will help you pinpoint your expectations more accurately.
All in all, Crimson Beauty is a very intelligently thought out story with action, romance and twists that are more than enough to satisfy you on a rainy day. Readers who loved Hodge’s Cruel Beauty are sure to be impressed by what Hodge has up her sleeve in this tale.