Friday, May 1, 2015

ARC Review: ♥ Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge.. So Twisted

Friday, May 01, 2015

Crimson Bound
Rosamund Hodge


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  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 5, 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Genre: Mature YA, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
  • Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles
  • Source: e-ARC was sent free of charge via Edelweiss. 
  • Synopsis: An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel BeautyWhen 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 a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic . . . and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

  • Crimson Bound is the fairytale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Rachelle is blood-bound to the king to defeat "evil" after a meeting gone wrong. She has no choice but to do as he says. Three years later, Rachelle serves the realm and she fights dangerous creatures. Then, the king gives her an order to protect and guard his son Armand, did I mention she absolutely despises him? Together, they must learn to trust each other when they cannot trust anyone around them. Now, they're forced to work together to hunt the legendary sword that could save their world and secrets are soon exposed.
  • Is there anything Rosamund Hodge will not write that I won't like? I love fairytale retellings, but I also love how she makes them unique in their own way. She takes them to a whole new level by adding mythology and making a whole new twisted fairytale. Her Cruel Beauty was my favorite debut of 2014, so I was pretty excited to read her latest novel. I also adore the covers of her books, although, I did wish for a different cover. It does look repetitive to her previous book, and they're not part of a standalone series or anything. I did enjoy reading Crimson Bound, it has a twisted fairytale with almost everything I would want in a great read. 
  • Rachelle is a badass heroine - she's almost like an anti-heroine, and a lot of women are similar to her in reality. Rachelle is strong, she can fight, although, she can be selfish as well. Rachelle is merciless, she can be vicious, but is also brave and courageous.  It's wonderful Rosamund creates imperfect characters. They all seem to have a darkness within them, which is quite realistic. No human being is that good, and they have flaws about them. She creates complex characters and turns them into something beautiful. The male interest in the book, Armand is appealing as well.. I don't want to speak too much of him without gushing. He's brave, confident and most of all a good guy. More male leads like him please! I loved the anti-hero Erec much more though, he is just brilliant and so evil.
  • The romance was swoon worthy, although, the love triangle bothered me a bit. The story can work better without it. I wish there wasn't insta love though, I didn't expect that. It's alright if two male leads desire the same girl, but I would prefer the girl to not sway her feelings towards both guys. Choose one, and MOVE THE HELL ON. The romance as a whole is good though, it's swoon worthy and as a reader, I really wanted the two characters to reunite! I won't say who I was rooting for, but I did like both of the male interests. 
  • The writing is pretty much addicting, there are literally so many perfect quotes in this book. Her writing is atmospheric which flows perfectly in lyrical ways. I did have trouble picking out which quote to use for my review without spoiling anything. The world building plot is wonderful, there are many twists and turns down the way! This book keeps you on your toes, I had to finish it one setting. The author does write complex fantasy, I'm a slow poke in that department. Sometimes I can't understand what's going on, but I still found this novel wonderful overall. The mythology part is what confused me, as it confused me in Cruel Beauty as well.  What bothered me the most is how Crimson Bound is so similar to Cruel Beauty, they have similar characters, a love triangle, and a similar plot almost. Even though, the novel does have it's flaws, it's a a good read overall. If you love twisted fairytales, then this one is for you. It sure isn't a cute, fluffy romance. I did love Cruel Beauty much more though.
                                             "Every day for the last three years, she had thought she deserved to die. 
                              She still didn’t want to. She wanted to live with every filthy desperate scrap of her heart."

"For a moment, she almost felt the wind of the Great Forest in her hair."


Recommended for fans of Red Riding Hood, and Cruel Beauty.

Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron 
femmmefatalee@gmail.com 

60 comments:

  1. To be completely honest, I was a bit iffy on Cruel Beauty, but I'm still really interested in giving this one a try because LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. ♥ I'm actually auditioning in a play (Into the Woods) for the role of Little Red Riding Hood in a few weeks, so this will definitely be an interesting pre-audition read. ;) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Aw that's pretty sweet, I do hope you get the role of Little Red Rising Hood! ♥

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  2. I agree with you that there is just something about the way Rosamund Hodge writes, almost lyrical and so atmospheric, that just pulls me in as well! I'm glad you liked it overall. The characters were darker and grittier. I think and Rachelle walked a thin gray line at times, which I love when characters feel so multifaceted like that. Did you like how she took the fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl Without Hands and twisted those tale in it?
    Lovely review, Benish : )

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    1. I agree, her writing is pretty much everything to me ♥ I do love how she takes fairy tales and twists them around, I've read in an interview once she doesn't even like the original fairytales, no wonder she changes them around a bit. Thank you!

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  3. Her writing really is addicting and like you said, her heroes are always kick butt but almost in reality, antiheroes. I love how dark but beautiful they always are. Wonderful review!

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    1. Yesss, glad you could relate! ♥

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  4. I am sad that there is another love triangle, but I am so glad that you loved this one!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. It was a wonderful novel overall :)

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  5. I wasn't sure about getting this book because there are so many other awesome books coming out on this day and I will totally be broke haha! You're lucky you received an arc, I'll just have to buy it anyway I think! Great review! :)

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    1. Aw, you can always request it from edelweiss. I believe it should still be up there. Thank you ♥

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  6. I haven't actually read anything from this author. I do like fairytale retellings - I never used to be that interested in them, but I have read some great ones lately so am now a big fan. This will have to be added to my TBR. I'm glad you liked it overall. :)

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    1. Rosamund's writes some of the best fairytale retellings, I hope you enjoy her books ♥

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  7. The covers for these books are so pretty, but I am not really a fan of fairytale retellings so I am not sure if these books are for me. Also I thought this was part of a series as the cover design looks similiar to Cruel Beauty.I like imperfect characters as well, it makes them more real. Great review!

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    1. I agree, the covers are all stunning. Thank you Lola :)

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  8. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this one! It is coming up next for me and I am really excited because I adored Cruel Beauty.

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    1. Hope to read your take on this one sometime :)

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  9. I will admit to enjoying retellings too, the triangle makes me a tad nervous, but I love the sound of the world

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    1. Aaah, the love triangle isn't that bad - I did like both of the male leads so that's always a good thing.

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  10. Ahhh can you believe I still haven't read Cruel Beauty...let alone Crimson Bound?! I LOVE fairytale retellings, I don't know why I haven't set aside time for these books yet. :( So glad to hear that they're absolutely amazing Benish, I'm glad you loved them. I need to jump on board with these books already!

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    1. Well, it was released last year. I still haven't read the Winner's Curse series if that makes you feel better lol :) This author does have some pretty amazing books so I do hope you enjoy them ♥ I would recommend trying out Cruel Beauty first.

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  11. I keep umming and aaahing about this series. I like re-tellings, but it seems like there's so many of them around. I'm sure I'll read it eventually though, sometimes I just cannot resist a good story!

    Great review Benish :)

    - Wattle @ Whimsical Nature

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    1. Thank you Wattle ♥ I would recommend trying out the author's books, I really do love them,

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  12. Oh my! I'm very excited to read this one! I'm a big fan for re-tellings and I'm interested to see how Hodge does this re-telling. It sounds like I'm really going to enjoy it. I do love the sound of Rachelle :)

    Wonderful review!

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    1. Thank you Magen, I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have :) ♥

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  13. I skimmed your review because I still need to read Cruel Beauty even though I know from another review that this is totally separate from that storyline. I just want to go in this blind! Your rating is enough for me to be more excited about it though! I don't think I've seen a negative review of this book! :D

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    1. Aaah, I do hope you enjoy Cruel Beauty! It's my favorite from all of her books ♥

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  14. I like an imperfect character too. Rosamund is awesome. I am reading this one soon.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as you have :)

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  15. Agreed. She does a fantastic job making a re-telling truly unique. So it makes me kind of laugh when I see people complaining that it's so different than the original story they know. Cruel Beauty still tops this one for me, though.

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    1. LOL your comment made me laugh now. I wouldn't understand whats to complain about a twisted fairytale, it just makes it better and more unique. I agree about Cruel Beauty :)

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  16. I love fairytale retellings too! *high five* And I agree that it's strange to have a similar cover for unrelated books. I actually thought this would be a sequel or something. Haha. I have yet to read Cruel Beauty, but I'm looking forward to it, and then checking out this one.

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    1. Haha aw I would have thought that as well. Cruel Beauty might be the book for you ♥

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  17. Same! Seriously, I will read anything she writes, totally on my auto author list now, it's just ahhhhh, she makes them completely different and it's own unique things that's just so many steps away from actually being a retelling (I totally forgot it was one once I got into it). And yup, she does badass characters, and that's what I loved, too. Cruel Beauty didn't have nice characters, they were flawed but I loved them all the same, and same goes for this, they are not perfect, and some, downright horrible, but I still liked them. Like, how does she do it?! Glad you liked it! :D

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    1. Yaay I'm glad you could agree Kristy<3 So many people love this author, it would be a shame not to. Her stories are always more unique even though they're fairytale retellings. YES, to the anti-heroes and anti-heroes, realistically, I feel people are more flawed then the whole goodness that is portrayed in most novels.

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  18. Nice review, Benish! I am reading it right now and I agree about love triangle, story would have been much better without it...

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    1. Yes, sometimes I miss a book without a love triangle. It's still a great read though ♥ Thank you Lucia.

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  19. I'm very happy to see what you enjoyed this one so much Benish, because I am planning on reading this one soon - even though I didn't have the best luck when I read Cruel Beauty recently. I enjoyed some things but other things really bothered me, but not enough to make me want to avoid this author. I'm very much willing to go into Crimson Bound with an open mind. I do appreciate your warnings about the love-triangle (I feel the SAME way as you do about them!) and also the similarities between this one and Cruel Beauty. I feel like now, I'll be better prepared to dive in :) Lovely review^^ ♥

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    1. Thank you Micheline! ♥ This read is worth checking out. It's still a beautiful book overall, the love triangle annoyed me a bit but hey it's Rosamund, she can pull it off :)

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  20. Your reviews are always so detailed, I like how you don't agree with many reviews out there and instead state what you disliked. LOvely review.

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  21. This series has the best covers! I love this authors writing as well but the love triangle is disappointing.

    A lovely review! Sharon – Obsession with Books

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    1. The covers are very beautiful indeed ♥

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  22. I MUST read this series! Ohmygosh. I have heard such wonderful things about it, and I ADORE fairytale retellings, and to be honest I seriously have NO IDEA why I haven't read these books. :O

    I love imperfect characters, so I am quite certain I will like the characters in Hodge's books. I think imperfect characters make the book so much more REAL, even if it is a fantasy book.

    It's a bit of a shame about the love triangle, and the similarities to CRUEL BEAUTY, but it sounds like this is a really good book overall! I'm glad you enjoyed it, Benish, and thanks for the review!

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    1. Thank you Chiara! & Yes, I think you might just love these books! They aren't series yet but maybe they might be in the future. The love triangle annoyed me sometimes, but I got over it eventually. It's still a fantastic book that I ended up liking ♥ You should start with Cruel Beauty :)

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  23. I really liked Red Riding Hood, so I am assured that I will be able to enjoy this one as well. I also think the idea of mixing a fairytale with some mythology as well is pretty unique. It sure does sound like the author makes these books her own, and I love that. Definitely adding the sequel to my TBR as well!

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    1. Thank you Olivia, you should check out Cruel Beauty first if you haven't read it yet ! :)

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  24. Oh Benish, after reading tons of reviews of Crimson Bound, I am defintely buying this! Thanks to your great review. :)

    www.paperboulevard.com

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  25. I don't even read books that much but I come on your blog to just read your thoughts, they're very genuine and real. Great website :)

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    1. Thanks so much, that actually means a lot :) ♥

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  26. I liked Cruel Beauty and I agree, I love how she makes realistic characters with real problems. I'm so glad you found so many awesome quotes and that it was addicting, I might check this book out after all! Thank you! :)

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    1. Thank you Katie, her books are pretty awesome. I love reading them ♥

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  27. I thought Cruel Beauty and this one had a similar feel I thought they were somewhat different, although it has been a long time since I've read that one. Loved the world building in this and couldn't agree more about the characters. The romance didn't bother me too much because every adaption of Red Riding Hood always seems to have a love triangle with one guy being the "wolf" or evil character. Nice review!

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    1. I agree, the feeling of both books was still there although, the stories are different. Thank you Alise ♥

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  28. I'm so excited for this one! It's been a while since I've read Cruel Beauty, so hopefully I won't notice too many similarities. The writing sounds amazing :) Great review!

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  29. I thought this one was okay! Like her first novel, there was a pretty kickbutt heroine. And insinuations of a love triangle -_- I think I liked the romance in her first book, but this one wasn't terrible. I'll definitely keep reading Hodge's books in the future!

    Excellent review, Benish :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I do prefer Cruel Beauty over Crimson Bound as well, Rosamund is a fantastic writer though :) Thank you Alyssa ♥

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  30. Lovely review overall :) You post some of the most honest reviews.

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