Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel Beauty.
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 a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic . . . and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
I really hate to leave a DNF review, as I did not finish the book, but I think it's important to talk about some of the issues that I had with Crimson Bound because that's what I personally look for in a review, in addition to whatever positive aspects that there may be.
I was very excited to read Crimson Bound because I loved Hodge's Cruel Beauty. As soon as I started the book, I was excited to follow Rachelle on her journey. She seemed to be a flawed and tough character like Nyx, but somewhere along the way, she lost me. I was unable to connect with her because she continuously wallowed in self-hatred (as far as I read). She reminded me a little of Katniss Everdeen, but not in a good way. Yes, Rachelle is a badass, but the wallowing... *sigh*
Another reason why I quit reading Crimson Bound is because I felt like a love triangle was coming on. Is that really the only way to create angst and conflict in romance? I'm not going to break down the way the book was written because I don't get to pick the story, but I did choose not to continue. Rachelle was already bad enough without having to deal with romantic issues.
To be fair, I did enjoy the fairy tale portion of the novel, and I won't say I'll never try to read the book again because of it. That world's mythology and setup is fascinating, but it's hard to go explore the world-building of a novel when the character is grating on your nerves. I never did get to the point where I saw any parallels between Crimson Bound and the Little Red Riding Hood story, unless Rachelle is the Big Bad Wolf. (I hope not, especially if I pick it back up.)
I'm not sure if Crimson Bound just caught me on a bad reading week or if I've gotten incredibly picky, but it just wasn't for me. I know a lot of readers are loving it, so maybe it'll work out better for some of you guys.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.