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Expected publication date: May 5th 2015, Balzer + Bray
My rating: 3 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.)"
Rosamund Hodge and her debut novel, Cruel Beauty, was one of the best gems of 2014 - at least for me. Gothic and dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast, main female character who is almost anti-heroine and a bad guy with a closet full of skeletons. And, of course, pretty cover. I was looking forward to reading her second novel, Crimson Bound.
But something went wrong. First of all, if my memory serves me right, originally this was supposed to be story set into the same fictional world as Cruel Beauty. Or I just overlooked that note in the book description stating that Crimson Bound is not part of the same fictional world. I got into the book expecting similar setting and then - puff, I was all how?, who?, where?... Devaurer, what? I can only blame myself for this. I wish that I can say that it was the only thing that bothered me. Sadly, there was more.
Rachelle. I am not the fan of main female character. She should be strong and kick ass, and she is sometimes, but most of the times she was insecure and naive.
Love triangle. Actually I wasn't the fan of romance in general when it comes to this book. They go quickly from "I do not trust you" phase to "I love you and let's be together". There was this one part that completely surprised me - in a good way, because you won't see that kind of twist very often in young adult novels. I just wish that author didn't rushed it so much.
Mythology. So confusing, but original. I had to read some explanations again to understand what is going on - it's not outright description or even completely clear. You got a lot of vague clues and hints about paranormal side, but in the end, everything comes to the right place. Rosamund Hodge did a great job with describing Forest considering that it is more like metaphysical than actual place.
Final judgement? Crimson Bound would be a perfect choice for fans of fantasy novels who crave for a little bit different story and everyone who prefer more mature young adult genre.
*ARC was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.*
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