In college I took a semester to study Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Which, granted, sounds awesome. And is awesome in theory. Unfortunately, the class was decidedly not awesome. Kind of a snoozefest.
Which is a feat in and of itself. I mean, if you can bore a fairy tale superfan like me, you have a gift.
You may be an Avenger.
Well, if I had been teaching this class, I would have included all of my favorite retellings in the required reading.
Enter Crimson Bound:
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 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?
Strayed from the path, you say? That sounds awfully familiar…
What Intrigued Me: Well, to start, Rosamund Hodge wrote Cruel Beauty. Which, if you haven’t read it, go. Just get a copy. Read it. And then re-watch Beauty and the Beast just for the hell of it.
Cruel Beauty was a dark sexy twist on BatB (with Greek Mythology, my Achilles Heel). Crimson Bound is a dark sexy twist on Little Red Riding Hood. I had to read it to see what Hodge would do with this story…
What Hooked Me:…and she delivered. While Cruel Beauty used Greek Mythology, Crimson Bound referenced the French Middle Ages, and the battle of dominance between Christianity and Paganism. Which makes the history nerd in me squeal. It’s just so perfect! Part of me wonders why no one else has thought of it first.
What Made Me Fall In Love: This story has a lot of knives. And I think all of them ended up buried in my heart.
So many feels!
So much betrayal!
I don’t want to reveal anything, so I’ll just say these two bits of advice:
1) Don’t stray from the path
2) Read this book