Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Just Finished Reading: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound
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!


36 comments:

  1. I am actually reading this now and I'm struggling with it. I'm not far - like 20% ish - but I hope it picks up soon. Glad you loved it :)

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  2. It's definitely a book that slowly wove its spell around me -- hope you enjoy it!

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  3. Glad you enjoyed it. I've been meaning to pick up Cruel Beauty for a long time, because it sounds right up my alley. Now, I can just wait until May and read both :)
    Great review!

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    1. They're both really good -- both fairy tale re-imaginings, but they're not companion books, they are standalone.

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  4. Sounds like a great story. I haven't read Cruel Beauty but it is on my TBR list. I don't know why I thought this was a sequel to that. Maybe the cover? I don't know. I will have to add this one to my list though. Glad to hear that there aren't any insta-loves in this one.

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    1. The covers do have a similar look. And definitely no instalove -- this romance is hard-earned!!

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  5. Yes can i cosign with this review-- all of my thoughts about the book.

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  6. I read the first chapter a week ago, and I loved it! Can't wait to read the whole book!
    So glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. Haven't read her, but I love Holly Black and I'm impressed by your review. I think I'll try the first book as soon as possible. Thanks for another lovely review!

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  8. I am picking Crimson Bound up over the weekend and I am super excited to dive into it now knowing what I do about the fairy tales the book will be based on (from Wendy's post). I am so glad to see you enjoyed this one, Jen!

    I am really excited to meet Rachelle! :D

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. I don't think I've read a book based on Little Red Riding Hood, and hadn't ever read Girl With No Hands.

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  9. Woot! Seeing that you loved this makes me super excited!! I read in another review that there was a love triangle but I'm glad you don't think it is~ I've also never heard of The Girl with No Hands so I'm curious what that's all about :D

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    1. It's complicated. And the characters are kind of complicated. I don't want to go too much into it. But I really didn't see it as a triangle.

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  10. I didn't have much luck with Cruel Beauty, but I'm really intrigued with the Red Riding Hood spin she's got going on here. Wary about the romance, but I know there's more to this than that.

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    1. I liked Cruel Beauty, but liked this one even better. It's similar to CB in that it's more of an "inspired by" than a strict retelling, but I generally prefer that. Let me know what you think!

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  11. I've heard great things about this one! But I'm afraid of that romantic drama. I know some of what happens and it worries me…especially because I struggled with that aspect of CRUEL BEAUTY. But I'm glad to hear you're another fan of this one, and hopefully I can work up to reading it. I do like how Hodge retells fairy tales.

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    1. The romance in this is different. If you don't mind spoilers I can explain in an email!

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  12. Yay, yay, yay! I've been kicking myself because I haven't been able to get to this one yet. Originally I was going to have ten books read already for May, but computer issues in February and March still seem to plague me with getting back on top of things. If you loved this one, I undoubtedly will too. :D

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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    1. I am barely keeping up too! Hope you love this :)

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  13. I agree that this was better than Cruel Beauty as well! Loved the vivid world and how Rosamund created such a unique story. It was a lot darker than CB indeed, which is probably the main reason why I loved it!

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    1. Yes -- I found this one even more compelling and emotional!

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  14. YES to this book, I've heard nothing but praise about it - I loved Cruel Beauty & I'm glad the author always uses something different in her books. Beautiful review. <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I think you'll like Rachelle -- she's a really complex and interesting character!

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  15. I have this one preordered because I heard that the author is fantastic at writing retellings and keeping them dark and twisted, and I'm really glad that you loved this one, Jen!

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    1. Definitely dark and twisted!! Hope you love it!

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  16. I liked but didn't love the first book (I did really like the writing) but have read a lot of negative reviews for this one. For some reason hat make she want to read it more. I have a feeling it will work for me better than the first.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  17. I am so glad you liked it! I cannot wait to read it. I am in love with the cover! Great review.

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  18. ya so glad you loved this one. I am waiting for it on audio. I loved the first on audio so i figured i would keep it going.

    dark and twisted fairytales are my favorite. that is how they should be not the fluffy light versions with all happy ever afters.

    great review.

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  19. The romance def has my attention, sounds complicated

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  20. This book is definitely on my immediate TBR, I really loved Cruel Beauty, and if you loved this even more, it must be that good! And I totally agree- Rosamund Hodge and Holly Black are awesome. I read The Girl Without Hands from the first blog post, so creepy! Can't wait to read this!

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  21. I can't wait to read this one! Really glad you liked it. I'm also happy to hear that it reminded you a bit of Holly Black's writing. I love her. Also, I loved Cruel Beauty. I was wondering if this would be just as good or just different or what but to hear you say you liked it so much I am even MORE excite d now to get my preorder in the mail :D
    I listened to the sample of the audiobook though per a stop on the tour and I was enthralled with the narrators voice! I kinda wanna get that too…lol bummer. Either way I'm so glad this is a fairy tale that is more rare because although I only faintly recall the original one (it's a part of the original Grimm Fairy Tales, right?) I love how dark those original stories were.

    Great review Jen
    Diamond @ Dee's Reads

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  22. I'm glad you enjoyed this book too! I really like that she incorporated two fairy tales into this story. And, totally agree, I didn't think the romance was really a love triangle either! Great review!

    Here's my review if you're interested (:

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  23. Just finished! I loved it. Now I am going to have to read her Cruel Beauty series. I haven't started that one yet.

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