YA Sunday ✭ Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge ✭ Book Review

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: eBook
Pages: 448
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.)

This was my second time delving into a Rosamund Hodge book. I’ve read Cruel Beauty, and had mixed feelings once I finished it. I still liked it well enough to try out Crimson Bound
First off, the covers for the series so far are beautiful. Unfortunately for me, the execution of this loosely-based retelling just wasn’t a home run. 

I didn’t get a sense of the plot in the beginning, so I waited to get further into the story in hopes of really getting a solid story base going. I kept waiting and waiting, and nothing. Instead, I felt as if I was being force-fed too much information right off the bat.
I do give the author points for creating an original mythological world. It’s certainly confusing and requires focus to really place the information in order and store. Nevertheless, it’s one of the only good details of the story.

One of the other other reasons why I had trouble connecting to this story was the heroine, Rachelle. She constantly nagged and expressed insecurities about herself. I like when heroines aren’t perfect, because it makes them human, but gosh darn it this girl was incredibly unsure of herself all the time.

The similar “love triangle” between the two main male characters in this book, Armand and Erec, and those featured in Cruel Beauty were noticeably recycled and sadly, less appealing than the originals. I felt like C.B. characters had a bit of complexity to them, whereas C.M. characters overall felt tediously repetitive. There wasn’t a single thing I liked about the relationships.

The plot developed extremely slow and without any real growth for the characters. Above all, the similarities between Crimson Bound and Cruel Beauty were just too many.
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
I love mythology, Hello Kitty, and T. S. Eliot. I also write YA fantasy novels: CRUEL BEAUTY, where Greek mythology meets Beauty and the Beast, and CRIMSON BOUND, where Little Red Riding Hood meets The Girl With No Hands.
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