Review: Crimson Bound

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Goodreads 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?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

I really liked this book. I did not however love it as much as I did Cruel BeautyBut I think that’s mainly because I felt the romantic entanglements fell a bit flat in this one compared to the Beauty and the Beast retelling.

However! The world that Hodge created in this book was so fantastic, the “bad guys” are walking a very grey line as to how bad they really are, especially given that our MC is one of the said “bad guys.” And the “Saints” and clerics aren’t really all that pure either. It’s such a juxtaposed look at the traditional good and evil, and that is what I love about Hodge’s stories. Everyone is so complex and have so many warring motives that you cannot label any of them as solely good or bad.

The two stories she used to inspire this book are also very interesting. It’s “Red Riding Hood,” influence is pretty loose, but you can certainly see the overarching themes of that story woven into this. I loved how rich the world was, how peoples intentions were never what you expected, and how out MC constantly fights for a redemption she doesn’t believe she deserves.

I can’t wait to see what Hodge comes out with next!

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