Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Posted May 26th, 2015 in book review / 30 comments

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund HodgeCrimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

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.)

At A Glance

Very original but very slow.

The Good

Even though Crimson Bound is based on Little Red Riding Hood and Girl With No Hands, the story felt very unique. Rosamund twisted these tales and made a whole new adventure heavy with mythology.

I loved the dark side Rachelle brought out of this book. Rachelle is all kinds of effed up. Her past has really shaped her into a bitter, fighting machine. Sometimes her complaining and self-loathing got a bit much, but it also added to her character. I would be pissed too if I were in her shoes. She hates who she has become and now, to add insult to injury, she has to babysit the one man who makes her heart-crushing past seem like a joke. Despite how Rachelle feels, she always focuses on her task. I loved her determination to pretty much save the freaking world, despite how the world has treated her.

Erec was such a jerk-flirt. You want to hate him but he’s so damn charming, in an evil-ish way. Armand sometimes fades into the background, but when his story comes to light, you start really paying attention to him. Seriously, you will be shocked with these two in the end. The rest of the characters were amazing. I love and hated each one whole-heartedly.

There are soooooo many twists and turns in this one. Certain characters are not who you first think they are, both in a bad and good way. The action was really good, though more of it would have been awesome. I think everything came together well in the end.

The Bad

The pacing if very slow in this one. I put the book down often. And the story got confusing in some places.

The romance was not my fav. First, it’s a hugely unnecessary love triangle between Rachelle, Erec, and Armand. There was very little actual romance, which was fine with me since I didn’t see these two/three together anyway. They just didn’t fit as a couple (Can’t tell you who she ends up with), at all. This story didn’t need a lot of romance, but I always want to be able to root for the main couple. Couldn’t do it this time.

The Snuggly

Some kissing and anything further is not described. Good for YA.

Final Thoughts

I really did enjoy this book, but the pacing was horrible and I didn’t really think either love interest was a good choice for Rachelle. So I am middle-ground with this one. Recommended.


“This is the human way, she thought. On the edge of destruction, at the end of all things, we still dance. And hope.”


“There were three of them, all with rapiers, and she had only a dagger. It would have been a wretchedly uneven fight, if she were human.

It was still a wretchedly uneven fight; it was just uneven in her favor.”  


“I knew you lived,” her mother said after a moment. “Any daughter of mine would be ruthless enough.”  


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30 Responses to “Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge”

  1. Red Iza

    I read the author’s writing style is beautiful, somehow what you wrote in the review rather puts me off.. Maybe I’ll try one of her other books, then, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      The writing style is really nice, but I liked Cruel Beauty more.

  2. Annette

    I’ve actually been looking forward to this one, as I really liked Cruel Beauty – although I can’t say I understood all of it (possibly need to re-read it some time!). And Erec sounds a little like the ‘hero’ in that novel. I’m not encouraged by the love triangle angle though. Anyway, 3 stars is a high enough rating that I’ll still give this one ago – I just hope I like it more than you have!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I hope you like it more. I think I enjoyed reading it more during, but after, I noticed a lot of meh things.

  3. kindlemom1

    The pacing was definitely slower in this than her first book. The writing was still really beautiful though even if this won’t be a favorite for me either. Glad you at least read this and did like. 😀

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, the writing is amazing. That’s what keeps me reading. I just hated the pacing.

  4. Lekeisha

    Since I read her other book, Cruel Beauty, I’m going to give this one a try. I love how she added Greek Mythology in the last story so I’m hoping that I love this. Great review!

  5. Keionda@Keionda Hearts Books

    I’ve been seeing this book like EVERYWHERE! Like seriously so I feel bad that I haven’t been able to read it. On top of that there have been mixed reviews about it. Some have loved it and some just haven’t. I hate books that are really slow. And then love triangles….. *shakes head slowly* I don’t care for them much either. Too bad you couldn’t find a romance connection with the characters.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I could have done with the slow pacing is the romance was better.

  6. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Oh nice! I have heard mixed things about this one, but still the general consensus seems to mark it a good read! I cannot wait to read it myself! I loved Hodge’s Cruel Beauty and am eager for her next tale! Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Cruel Beauty was better, but I still love her writing in general.

  7. Melliane

    I can understand some of your problems but in a whole I think I likd it a bit more than you. Maybe because I prefered it to Cruel Beauty.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I am happy to hear it. I hope most people enjoy it more. I still have some good times with it.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, not worth buying but still read it when you get a chance.

  8. benish

    I gave this one 3.5 stars, I agree about the pacing and the actual romance was boring. I preferred Erik’s character much more, the other guy was sweet enough but he was barely there.

  9. Christy

    Jerk-flirt. LOL! Nice. Yeah, the romance felt so off for me, but I enjoyed everything else. Cruel Beauty was a lot better IMO.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, Cruel Beauty blew this one out of the water. But this is a decent read in the end.

  10. Jaclyn Canada

    It’s a good thing that the romance wasn’t in the front because I hate it when you don’t want the love interests together. Sounds like other than the pacing, the characters and story were good. Great review!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, I had some fun with this one. Especially while reading it. But a couple hours after, a lot of the faults kept popping in my head.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I think a lot of people will love it. I just lost some interest in the middle. But still a good read.

  11. Olivia Roach

    I do want to try this one at some point because I am a huge fan of retellings and people promise this one will be good. It sounds original and intriguing but it is a shame that sometimes it was a bit slow moving.

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