Book Review: Crimson Bound

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Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Copy: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 448
Date Published: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 2/5

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.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)

Note: Mild spoilers in brackets

I’m done. Finally. 

I regret not writing a review for Cruel beauty, because then you guys won’t know why I expected Crimson Bound to be as good, if not better. 

I really wanted to like this, but it confused the hell out of me. I didn’t understand what bloodbound or foresthound or devourer meant at first, but I was hopeful, because I was somehow certain that everything would be revealed in the end. I presume those revelations did happen; unfortunately, nothing, and I mean nothing, made sense to me. 

Rachelle’s character is different from the usual ones I’ve read. She had the characteristics of both a protagonist and a villain, and I liked that. I liked how she tried to be so bad-ass with her fighting skills and her charms. However, she is just so incredibly uninteresting. She complained about the same problem from start to finish. She is so miserable and at the same time so guarded that reading her narrative became such a tedious task. 

Every day for the last three years, she had thought she deserved to die.

Brb crying (not)

I felt the same way towards the other characters. Plus points for making a character with no hands, though I honestly could not like him any more than I liked Rachelle. Amelie was the only character that I liked (barely), and do not even get me started on Erec D’Anjou. 

The story would have been good if it wasn’t so darn confusing. There were twists here in there, but I couldn’t appreciate them, because I had a really hard time putting the pieces together. The pace during the first half kept me going, but after 200 pages or so, I just zoned out. I breezed through the pages thinking over and over “what the hell is going on?” 

It was so confusing to the extent that I wanted to ask questions, but I had no freaking clue where to start. Was it me? Was I not bright enough? Lol

I also didn’t appreciate the religious undertones. It just felt forced; I couldn’t merge all these details into one mysterious world. I couldn’t make them fit. [And let me get this straight, Rachelle was only able to rid her mind of her chaotic mumbling after confessing her sins to the Bishop? I can’t even.]

Also, the instalove. I could not remember if there was a part of the story that showed some sign of Rachelle liking Armand. I definitely understood her attraction towards Erec but Armand? I swear, the romantic narratives sprouted out of nowhere. 

Her hands overshot the pattern, and nearly jerked the yarn out of alignment. She caught herself, but her wrist brushed against [Armand’s], and a tiny shiver went up her arm.
Their eyes met. Her face felt hot. Her hands, though gripping the yarn, felt empty.
She thought, This is not the way I feel about Erec
She thought, I think I love him.

No you don’t, you fool. 

and what a surprise, I felt nothing – no chemistry, no sparks, no “I’m going to email the author if these two don’t end up together” – nothing. I honestly did not care at this point and would have preferred the three of them to be swallowed by a lindenworm or the devourer. Getting killed by a random woodspawn didn’t sound so bad either. 

[Did I mention that the king is downright stupid? I mean, why would you trust the worst enemy of humanity in the first place? What an idiot.]

So I wouldn’t call this review decent, but man, I’m just really disappointed. This doesn’t mean I won’t give Hodge another chance though. After all, her writing is an entirely different story. 

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