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Crimson Bound
Cover of Crimson Bound
Crimson Bound
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An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood and the extravagant court of Versailles, from the author of Cruel Beauty. A doomed...
An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood and the extravagant court of Versailles, from the author of Cruel Beauty. A doomed...
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  • An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood and the extravagant court of Versailles, from the author of Cruel Beauty. A doomed warrior and the king's most notorious bastard must join forces to defeat a dark evil in this gorgeously intricate fantasy—perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses.

    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?

About the Author-

  • Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She received a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle, Washington, with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Cruel Beauty; Gilded Ashes, a Cruel Beauty novella; Crimson Bound; Bright Smoke, Cold Fire; and Endless Water, Starless Sky. Visit her online at www.rosamundhodge.net.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine This lush and dark reimagining of "Little Red Riding Hood" is vibrantly enhanced by Elizabeth Knowelden's expert narration. With deliberation and a somber tone, she embodies Rachelle's struggle to resist becoming like the very monsters she fights in a magical medieval France. Marked by a Forest Born and then forced to murder someone she loved, Rachelle struggles to maintain her morality even while she's aware of the lengths she'll go to survive. Knowelden teases out the nuances of her emotions as she maintains the flat, even tones of the stern facade Rachelle presents to the court. Fairy-tale fans will be thoroughly entranced by the twisted path Rachelle must take to save humanity. J.M. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2015

    Gr 8 Up-With this romantic mash-up of classic fairy tales that touch on elements from the familiar "Little Red Riding Hood" and the lesser-known "Girl with No Hands," Hodge has created a chilled cocktail of creep and gore shaken, stirred lightly, and poured over villains who fall in love and heroines who commit murder. Featured in this delicate and skillfully written romantic horror is Rachelle Brinon, who has been trained by her aunt to serve as a woodwife. It's her responsibility to protect the village from the dark magic of the forest. While venturing into the forest, Rachelle is eventually tricked by a humanlike wolf creature, to whom she becomes bound to it by a thin crimson thread that only she can see. The connection is filled with passion and also gives her superhuman skills with the possibility of immortality. Now one of the king's assassins, Rachelle has many responsibilities and soon realizes that there are just as many dangers and threats within the kingdom as they are without. Loyalties are stretched when she's assigned the job of protecting Prince Armand, and a romantic triangle develops among Rachelle, the prince, and the captain of the bloodbounds. Teens will gladly join this quest to find out if there's a happy ever after in this intricate web of friendship, fear, loyalty, love, and hate. VERDICT With a thoroughly developed setting and so many shadowed nods to the Brothers Grimm, this novel will captivate readers. Outstanding.-Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2015
    A high fantasy loosely based on "Little Red Riding Hood" and the less well-known "The Girl with No Hands."Hoping to save the world, 15-year-old Rachelle defiantly leaves the safe forest path to speak with a forestborn-one of those humans who gained supernatural powers by accepting the Devourer as their lord. The forestborn marks Rachelle: In three days' time she must either kill and become a bloodbound-destined to become a forestborn-or be killed. Rachelle kills, and the story of the killing is revealed as she grapples with debilitating guilt. Three years later, Rachelle is one of the king's bloodbound. When she discovers the Devourer will soon return, she redoubles her efforts to find the sword that can defeat him. However, orders to protect the king's illegitimate son, Armand, impede her search. Predictably, Rachelle falls in love with Armand, causing a love triangle to form between the pair and the rakish Erec, captain of the king's bloodbound. Though Armand is likable enough, Rachelle's love feels sudden and unfounded, and thus it's never entirely convincing. A fairy tale that's critical to understanding Rachelle's ultimate task is interspersed throughout, and in a refreshing departure from the norm, the complexity of the conclusion matches the magnitude of the foe faced. Rachelle's flaws make her an incredibly sympathetic character; though her romance is not so compelling, the unusual, intricately woven story and themes make for a worthwhile read. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2015
    Grades 8-11 What happens if Red Riding Hood fails to heed her mother's warning and follows the wolf into the forest? In the kingdom of Gevaudan, the woods are full of forestborn, merciless immortal creatures who hunt humans, and once Rachelle steps off the path, she is marked as belonging to them and must kill or die. Wracked by guilt, she flees her small village and goes to work for the king, who keeps a squad of so-called bloodbound like Rachelle as security. Soon she is deeply enmeshed in palace intrigue and forestborn plotting, both of which center on Armand, the king's illegitimate son, and Erec, the sexy but faithless captain of the guard. Though Rachelle's inner monologue is often bogged down by repetitive moments of self-loathing and doubt, Hodge's writing occasionally glimmers with flashes of brilliance: the neckline bared her shoulders and her collarbones like a declaration of war. Plot twists and romance keep the pages turning in this grim and intricate take on the classic tale.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

  • The Horn Book

    July 1, 2015
    As a child, Rachelle was mesmerized by a seductive "forestborn" (henchman of the evil Devourer), who turned her into a superhuman "bloodbound." Now she reluctantly serves the king, biding her time until she can search for the legendary sword that will free herself and prevent a Devourer apocalypse. The convoluted backstory makes it hard to follow the plot or invest in the main character.

    (Copyright 2015 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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