by Rosamund Hodge
To be published on May 5, 2015
by Blazer + Bray
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?My take: I really loved Rosamund Hodge's first book, Cruel Beauty, and am happy to say that I liked Crimson Bound even more. This book was dark and compelling, full of unexpected twists and turns and complex characters. This book runs the emotional gamut -- love, loss, betrayal, and redemption.
The book starts with a scene that's sort of Little Red Riding Hood meets ... vampires. But not exactly. That's what I love about Rosamund Hodge's books -- they're so imaginative and original. As I read Crimson Bound, I kept thinking about one of my favorite YA authors -- Holly Black. Both these authors write stories that are creepy and beautiful and full of moral ambiguity.
The romance in this one is ... complicated. I really wouldn't call it a triangle, but I definitely can't say it's a simple girl-meets-boy-and-finds-true-love story either. And I'd argue that Rachelle's romantic life is so much more complex and interesting than the typical fairy tale heroine who finds true love with her prince and lives happily ever after. I don't want to say more, but I was fine with all of it and thought it added a lot more depth.I hadn't heard of the story of The Girl Without Hands -- and here I thought I'd read almost every fairy tale out there! - but I really liked the way it was incorporated into the story.
All in all, I was incredibly impressed by Crimson Bound and highly recommend it to fans of dark fairy tales! Be sure to stop by tomorrow, because as part of the book's blog tour, I'm going to be featuring an original flash fiction piece by Rosamund Hodge. I'm so excited!