Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review: Crimson Bound

 Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult // Retellings // Romance // Action // Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date:  May 5, 2015
Format: eARC
Source:Publisher // Edelweiss

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 (goodreads).

If you're looking forward to this book  because you think it's going to be an epic romance like Cruel Beauty, don't hold your breath. 

Plot: Guys, it physically hurts me to write this review, because I wanted to ADORE this book. But the deeper I got into the story, the less I was feeling it. We start with young Rachelle who is learning to be a woodwife from her aunt. Although she knows that she is never to venture out into the woods, curiosity gets the better of her in true Red Riding Hood fashion. Fast forward a few years, and Rachelle is a Bloodbound. Taken by the forest but allowed to live as long as she serves the Crown. From there, all semblances to Little Red Riding Hood are gone and it becomes and epic fantasy of rebellion and monsters. Let's through some romance in there for good measure. 

My main problem with Crimson Bound is that it tried to do too much for one book. The people are uneasy with their aging king so Rachelle is called to guard one of the king's (many) illegitimate sons from possible assassination. Along with that, Rachelle is on a secret mission to find two swords that will destroy a legendary evil - a legendary evil that no one else really cares about. Once I felt comfortable with a specific plot point and was starting to get into the story, I felt rushed to another conflict. 

Characters: I appreciate Hodge because she is not afraid to write flawed characters, and Rachelle is no saint. I liked Rachelle's determination to avenge loved ones and find redemption. Her friendship with Amelie was sweet, as it was evident that Rachelle didn't think she deserved any kindness in life, and I felt that she was her most vulnerable with Amelie. 

There is an odd sort of love triangle between Rachelle and two suitors. I was most looking forward to Crimson Bound because of the romance of Cruel Beauty left me breathless. Here, it's a nuisance. With so much happening, I didn't have time to care about Rachelle and her conflicted emotions, and her interactions with both guys lack any sort of emotion. 

World Building: The world of Crimson Bound is heavily French influenced from the language and fashion. The world is described like a high fantasy a la Game of Thrones. There is a kingdom, a magical forest, and uneasy civilians - everything sounds like the run of the mill high fantasy epic.

Short N Sweet: Crimson Bound was something I didn't expect. With so many subplots going on at the same time, I wish the romance hadn't been included at all.


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for leaving a message! Don't forget to link me to your blog so I can return the favor!