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.
(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)
One thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. As many of you might know, the cover of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is one of my all-time favorites. So when I saw the cover of Crimson Bound, I wanted it. Then I read the synopsis and knew I had to have it. I absolutely love retellings and I know for a fact that Hodge is great at retelling fairytales.
When I started this book I had no idea what was in store for me. I had learned from reading Cruel Beauty that I can never even start to guess what is going to happen in a book written by Hodge. This book is no different. I went in with an open mind and I was blown away. The characters in this book are so complicated and complex that you can read the whole book and feel like you only scratched the surface of them. Rachelle is a character that I didn't expect to admire or cheer for as much as I did in this book. She has a heartbreaking past and even sadder outlook on her future. That made me become emotionally attached to her in so many ways. She is a character that is so strong when anyone else would break. I love characters like that because they emulate what I want to be. Rachelle is a bad ass heroine that can wield a sword and throw daggers with scary precision, and I can't think of anything I love more than a heroine that kicks ass and takes names. Then there is Armand. He was a character that I didn't expect to love. However, as soon as I got to know him later in the book I fell in love with him. Then when all of his secrets are revealed I began to admire him for his strength. This book is full of strong characters and an even stronger plot.
Everything about this story kept me hooked. I stayed up until 3 AM reading it because I just couldn't stop. Crimson Bound is a beautiful blend of action, assassins, love, and sacrifice. The plot had me hungry for more with every chapter I finished and even though the story seemed to reach a short lull in the middle, the beginning and end of the story were amazing. There is also a plot twist in the book that will have you thinking you are crazy. I questioned my sanity after the plot twist was revealed. Every moment was a guessing game because I could never predict what the characters were going to do, and that made the book all the more interesting. I am so SO happy with this book to say the least. The good guys in this book are ones you will root for and the bad guys are the ones that will make you wish you could strangle them. That's when you know a book is good.
Overall, I loved this book so hard. I knew I would like it because I loved Cruel Beauty, but I really loved Crimson Bound. It had everything I love it a book from a heroine with a heartbreaking past to an explosive ending that will have you almost in tears. It totally earned five out of five stars from me!