Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you Balzer & Bray!)

Summary 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?

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


Man, oh, man am I in love with Rosamund Hodge’s latest. Crimson bound was dark and intoxicating and I couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t the easiest world to understand, but damn, if I wasn’t transfixed by it.

Rachelle is bloodbound which means that she was marked by the Great Forest to lose her heart and become a forestborn. But before the forest can claim her, Rachelle is determined to kill the Devourer, the god of the forestborn, who threatens to plunge the world into darkness and chaos forever. But to do so she must find a sword of magical power long thought lost forever. She elicits the help of her latest charge, Armand, whom she also can’t help falling for, and in the process she discovers a conspiracy among the King’s trusted men. The story itself was enough to capture my attention – it was fast-paced and exciting - but this book offers so much more than a strong story. There was so much that was well done – the beauty is in the details.

Rachelle was a pretty amazing main character – both energetic and complex – but my heart went out to her. As a bloodbound she was feared and reviled by humans, so although she was surrounded by people, she mostly lived apart. One of the things I loved the most about her character was her moral ambiguity. She wanted to be good and she spent her days killing the evil creatures of the forest to atone for her past, but she can’t deny the power coursing through her or the temptation of the forest. And she knows eventually that she will succumb to it. This looming threat and how it impacted Rachelle’s decisions was really interesting and well done.

Again, this world wasn’t the easiest to wrap my head around and I can’t be sure I even understand it as Hodge intended me to but I still loved it. I was fascinated by how the forest worked, how it manifested in the real world, and how it controlled all those tied to it. It was intricate, mythical, magical, evil and absolutely perfect for Hodge’s rich writing style. Her imagination is incredible.

Hodge’s work is truly unlike any other I have read. Crimson Bound, like Cruel Beauty, is absolutely mesmerizing and I think I may have enjoyed it even more. If you like beautifully crafted and extraordinary stories, than look no further than Rosamund Hodge.

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