ARC Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

April 26, 2015 Review 56 ★★★★½

ARC Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 448
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Family, Fantasy & Magic, General, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Just like Hodge’s other book, CRUEL BEAUTY, CRIMSON BOUND tells a fantastic story, both figuratively and literally. As you might know by now, fantasy is my favorite genre, and after being disappointed by my latest fantasy reads, this book reminded me just how awesome the genre can be.

CRIMSON BOUND transports you to a world rich in lore and history, building an absolutely fantastic fictional reality without it feeling overwhelming (and without the dreaded info-dumps). I would have to say this aspect, next to the characters themselves, is probably the strongest element of the book, in my opinion. This world and the concept are awesome.

On the opposite side of the coin I do have to say that this could also be a negative. There is just so much to explore I almost would have liked a series out of this. A lot seemed stuffed in, even with the 400 page count. Maybe Hodge will revisit the world (fingers crossed!) but I did feel satisfied with the overall conclusion and there is no obvious need for another book. If that made any sense at all.

I could go on about the characters in this book forever, they are fantastic. Each and every one has depth and is well explored. Some have hidden motives, some have dangerous secrets, and the liars are usually the ones being honest. Rachelle is definitely going to be added to my list of favorite heroines. She is far from perfect, but that is exactly why she’s so great. All the characters are just asdfghjkl!

This novel was inspired by the classic Little Red Riding Hood but other than a few similar quotes I would not have guessed it, there is definitely some disconnect from the original story, although that is not necessarily a bad thing. It was not like CRUEL BEAUTY where the retelling aspect was fairly obvious. Both books are still uniquely original in their own ways.

Speaking of CRUEL BEAUTY, this one did not have any quotes that immediately stood out to me like my favorite from the former:

“Where you go, I shall go; where you die, I shall die, and there will I be buried.”
Chills, dudes. Chills.

But the writing was still great and incredibly vivid and descriptive-I could imagine the Great Forest perfectly.

Now that I have throughly confused you with this review I will just end with: it’s great, you need to read it.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5

56 Responses to “ARC Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge”

    • Alise

      It’s really good! I didn’t see too much Red Riding Hood in it at all but I am kind of oblivious xD Hope you like it!

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I actually just read Cruel Beauty not long ago but unfortunately, I was something of a black sheep with that one D: I liked some aspects, but not so much some others. Anyway, reading your review here is encouraging because I do have a copy of Crimson Bound too and I’m definitely curious enough about it to check it out regardless. Here’s hoping that I’ll have as much luck as you did with this one :) I’m happy you enjoyed this one so much Alise, especially after a few duds! Wonderful review! ♥
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…ARC Review: A Court of Thorns And Roses

    • Alise

      Aw, no :/ This one definitely has a different real to it than Cruel Beauty so I would definitely be curious to see what you think. I’m glad! I hope so too. Thanks :D

  2. Melliane

    I really enjoyed this one but unlike you I’ve seen a lot of cruel beauty in it but it’s maybe personal. I’m glad you had a good time!

  3. tonyalee

    I am so happy to see that you loved this one! I am currently reading it and not feeling it at all – which is sad because I loved Cruel Beauty. :(

    • Alise

      I’m trying to remember if I had trouble with this one at first because I think I did but am not sure. CB will always be my favorite, the books definitely have different vibes, for sure.

    • Alise

      Right? You could imagine almost every detail of the forest. I can see that, they did feel different to me.

  4. Olivia @ Fluttering Pages

    All of the great reviews for Crimson Bound are getting me very excited to read this! It sounds like such a great fantasy with an intriguing premise, interesting world, and great characters. Really enjoyed the review!
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up #2

  5. Tara-Lee

    I love the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It is my favourite plot in Into the Woods and just overall, I love it. I would definitely pick this book up based on your review.

    Fantasy is one of my favourite genres too but I have stayed away from it for awhile. I really liked Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories and I want to finish that series.

    • Alise

      Yay! I’m glad! :D

      I’ve heard of Colfer but I have not read anything by him, I’ll have to check that out!

    • Alise

      This one definitely screams fantasy so it might not work for you, although it wasn’t too confusing. Especially for me, I have little patience xD

  6. Kirsty-Marie

    Oh man, I just loved this one, too. I mean, it was just AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Especially when you know who was revealed to be you know who, I was just, HOW DID I NOT KNOW THAT? And Rachelle is just badass. I was totally fangirling after finishing it. Her writing though, just <3 And definitely *fingers crossed* she'll revisit it. NEED. MORE.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Find Me Tag

    • Alise

      That was a pretty cool part, I liked how it was revealed! I didn’t see it coming either xD She really is a great heroine! I hope so too, I loved the world.

  7. Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

    Sometimes a concept is too big for just one book and NEEDS a series – or at least a duality, but I am glad Crimson Bound was still incredibly awesome. I’m going to have to add this book to my “NEEDS TO BUY NOW” list because everyone seems to be raving about it. Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

  8. Benish

    YAY, I’m so glad you could enjoy this one :) I love fairytale retellings and I like how this author takes it to a whole new level – Cruel Beauty was one of my favorites, and I hope I enjoy Crimson Bound as much as you have! Beautiful review.
    Benish recently posted…Wreckage ♥ by Emily Bleeker Review

    • Alise

      She really does, both books still maintain a huge level of originality, which is awesome. I hope you do too! Thank you :D

  9. Amir @ Not So Literary!

    Okay, I seriously need to start listening to Cruel Beauty (I have the audiobook) because almost every review is positive and from what I’m seeing, for this book two! I especially love this:

    “It was not like CRUEL BEAUTY where the retelling aspect was fairly obvious. Both books are still uniquely original in their own ways.”

    I love how the author was able to make both timeless tales her own and create something totally original. I’m definitely be reading Cruel Beauty soon and adding this on my wish list! I’m missing out! Awesome review Alise! :)
    Amir @ Not So Literary! recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Give to the Heart by Wann (Volumes 1 and 2)

    • Alise

      Ooh, I wonder how the audiobook experience would be, you should review it if you listen to it!

      Exactly! She borrows little things from the original but creates a fantastic story all her own, it’s great. Thank you! :)

    • Alise

      Thank you! Cruel Beauty is seriously great, I hope you like it as much as I did! Whoop, fantasy lovers unite!

  10. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    I’m glad I read this review because all of the precious ones I have read have either been negative or mediocre. Which made me sad because I love retellings, and I want to love this series (even if I have not yet read the first one, HAHA). Also: Red Riding Hood retelling? I am all over that. Seriously.

    SO YAY for this uber positive review. It makes me super excited again for this series. I love awesome characters and fleshed out worlds so YES. Y E S for this book.
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Just Around the Riverbend

    • Alise

      Aw man, really? :O I’ve only seen positive ones but that is interesting! This series really is great, especially if you love fantasy with a great romance attached. :D Let me know if you ever read this one or Cruel Beauty? :)

  11. Francine Soleil

    I think that the fact that you were satisfied with the ending yet still wanting more speaks a lot about how much you loved this book. I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews for this book recently. Maybe because it’s coming out soon or it came out already? But you all make me intrigued and excited to read it. Though I’m not rushing to get a copy, I would definitely want to check this one out. Awesome review!
    Francine Soleil recently posted…Musings: Looking Back at Old Reviews

    • Alise

      True enough :) I want the author to revisit this world so bad! Yep, it came out today! Yay, I’m glad! Thanks :)

  12. Amy

    Love your blog! This book looks so amazing. I ordered it and it’s supposed to come sometime between today and delay! I cannot wait. :-)

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