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Crimson Bound

(Cruel Beauty)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  18,749 ratings  ·  2,870 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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Dana Barrier Not much. A few kissing scenes and a brief scene where two characters are implied to spend the night together, but it is not explicit. I would say the…moreNot much. A few kissing scenes and a brief scene where two characters are implied to spend the night together, but it is not explicit. I would say the sexual content is very mild if nonexistent. (less)

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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  18,749 ratings  ·  2,870 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Her dreams were a tangled mess of blood and shuddering trees.

This book is damn near perfect.

I just don't know how to review this wonderful, creepy, gory, clever, twisty fairy tale and be able to do it justice. How do you sell a book to people when it does so many different things and does them all marvelously? I just cannot wait for Cruel Beauty fans to read this.

Crimson Bound is a story full of villains who are allowed to love and heroines who are allowed to murder and be selfish. Rosamund
Cristina Monica
‘‘Tell me about the Devourer,’’ she said. ‘‘What is he, really?’’
‘‘The breath in our mouths and the hunger in our hearts,’’ said the forestborn. ‘‘Be patient, little girl. You’ll meet him yourself someday.’’

Crimson Bound was a mesmerizing read. Unlike I first imagined, this was no retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. For sure, some elements here and there could be compared to that classic story, but, like Cruel Beauty, this novel took unexpected turns. It’s not… You can’t… In vain did I make
Carla *Jen7waters*
Boring plot
Unlikeable heroine
Gross love triangle
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Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Great premise - unsatisfactory execution.

The whole time the book was like:

And my reaction every single time was like:

My biggest problem with this book was that it tried to be something extra-ordinary and unique and great, but both the plot-line and the characters felt like rip-offs from Cruel Beauty.
As somebody who is fond of the original Red Riding Hood tale and had if not very high, but expectations nonetheless, I must say that I was extremely disappointed.
First, there was the lack of
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

I'm convinced that what bothered me wouldn't be a problem for most readers. It still spoiled my read, though, that's why I couldn't finish.

What's my problem, you ask? Let's call that "too much misuses of references". This is not a world-building, this is a soup : Basically Rosamund Hodge used TONS of French folklore/history/literature references which isn't a problem per se but which became one when I couldn't connect with the story anymore because I was too busy trying to make sense of the worl
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread: Audio Narration Fantastic. Book: Viscous, Ruthless, Bloody, Dark, Sexy, Villainous.

Her dreams were a tangled mess of blood and shuddering trees

Everyday for the last three years, she had thought she deserved to die. She still didn’t want to. She wanted to live with every filthy, desperate scrap of her heart

In the darkest of the wood stands a house. The walls are caulked with blood. The roof is thatched with bones. Within that bloody house lived Old
Natalie Monroe
"She didn't want to be a martyr. She didn't have a choice."

That quote sums up my reading experience.

It took me five months to finish Crimson Bound. Five months. I'd open it, read a few pages, then see a butterfly and follow it until sunset.

The characters don't grab me. I don't give a flying fuck about Rachelle or Armand or their irrational quest to find Joyeuse, a sword which can kill the Devourer. They make out/confess their undying love for each other beside a sleeping lindworm and I
enqi ☁️✨


i read an excerpt of this in the back of cruel beauty and it was SO enchanting y'all. now i'm buddy reading this with my irl best friend what could be better ♥️
Faye, la Patata
Win a pre-order of this book by joining my giveaway on Twitter! Click this for details!


Now I see why people love this author.

Truth be told, when I read Cruel Beauty not too long ago, I remember being very frustrated with it. Yes, the prose flowed exceptionally well; yes, the characters were complex; yes, the world-building was fascinating and all that, but I just couldn't find myself liking it completely. It was a fantasy that read too much like a romance (although it can be debated that it'
Ahmed  Ejaz
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, full-lengths
"Everyone tries to be good until it stops being convenient"
There's only one reason I gave her works another try: Her writing. It's so fluent. Like that in her previous book, Cruel Beauty. I think this book is better than Cruel Beauty in regards of plot. I loved it.
It's also the first Red Riding Hood retelling I read. I enjoyed it because of writing and plot. Otherwise, the character development wasn't upto my satisfaction. I couldn't make myself to die-hard love any of them. Only Arm
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retelling mash-up of The Girl Without Hands & Little Red Riding Hood!
To be quite honest, I'd never heard of the former until Hodge mentioned it in her acknowledgements. Now that I've looked it up, the story makes even more sense, and I have to give her props for weaving it into this retelling!

Ok, this is a dark retelling, and Rachelle isn't exactly a princess, so if you're hoping for a fluffy love story, back away from this book. For the rest of you?
It all starts when she takes a walk in the w
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it

What happened here? D:

PS: Sorry guys, my classes are back so I'm away for a bit :/
I'll adjust my reviews later. Love you all <3
destini mia
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lololol-no
I really wanted this book to be good.

Plot: had potential

Love triangle: *gags*

Heroine: likable

Love interest(s): unbelievable, insta-loveish, and I ended up liking the wrong guy

Writing: saving grace


Me: disappointed

Everything just boils down to my inability connect to the story. The world building needed some fleshing out (things just got waaaayyyyy too convenient at one point), the romance was half-assed and lacked that spark (also *continues dry-heaving* love triangle), and the plot had so mu
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
I need to have a shirt made, with ROSAMUND HODGE IS FUCKING BRILLIANT printed on it. Crimson Bound has one of the most unique imaginative worlds I've ever come across. It's dark, it's vicious, and it's so me. It's going to be so you, too, I swear.

Other than the world-building, I would also give two thumbs up for Rosamund's elegant writing. And it's not the boring kind of elegant, either--it's the mesmerizing kind that'll just suck you into the story.

Rachelle was such a different heroine from wha
Nadhira Satria

First and foremost, I’d like to apologize to the author I meant no disrespect sis I just hate this I’m sorry and for those who enjoyed this book, good for you but I can’t relate.

1.5 Stars
WHAT THE FUCK. I said those three words every 5 minutes while I read this mess of a book. Seriously tho what the fuck did I just read. I am beyond disappointed and angry and frustrated. I want my time back. I could’ve been reading some good shit but nooooooo
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-ya
This was a bit up-and-down for me. Some parts I found myself really engaged in the story and at other parts I was dreading continuing on.

This story takes its roots in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Very loosely, which I enjoyed.

The strengths of this book are similar to my favorite aspect of Rosamund Hodge's debut novel, Cruel Beauty. The conversations and personalities of the female characters are very alive. They are humorous and snarky and wicked. She doesn't water them down. Her writing
*sighs* How I love retelling and fairy-tale. This book is a bit bored in the first half, but the last half just pick up and turn SO GOOD! I really like the idea and the writing style of this author! How she create her retelling with the references of myth or other stuff. I might not love this one as mush as Cruel Beauty But still like it very much!

Love her romance. This one still not disappointed me about romance, the characters are just interesting and fascinating. I think my taste suit with h
Natalie (Never trust a duck)
I'm just a girl, standing in front of a book, asking it to come to her.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was ok

Help! I have fallen off the bandwagon.

Oh dear, I really have. I usually ride shot-gun on the bandwagon and I really don't mind, I mean just look at my read shelf. I see all the 4 & 5 stars from friends & reviewers I follow for Crimson Bound and I am disappointed why I didn't like this more, as this is a 2.5 stars read for me. Crimson Bound didn't give me any feels whatsoever, unless meh is a feel.

The plot was quite promising but the execution, doh', felt flat.(view spoiler)

Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“This story begins with endless night and infinite forest; with two orphaned children, and two swords made of broken bone.
It has not ended yet.”

This was an okay YA fantasy story, but I did lose patience towards the end.

Rachelle was a girl who didn’t give up what she was trying to achieve no matter the consequences. She knew that it would be tough to find one of the hidd
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)

Before I start, I'm going to say that, so far, I have never read about a guy I disliked named Armand. And (you guessed it), I liked the Armand in this book too.

The book as a whole had a plethora of problems; the romance being the most immediate. Its a damn good thing the romance was pushed to the background in favor of Rachelle's quest to find the Joyeuse sword and kill the Devourer, otherwise, I would have straight up given this a 1, despite its great writing and grit.

Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I loved Crimson Beauty  so much that I've already read and/or listened to it over five times since I received the ARC a little over a year ago. Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, followed very closely by Little Red Riding Hood. Intriguing that one of my new favorite authors on the scene has retold b
Crimson Bound is a standalone, dark fantasy novel written by Rosamund Hodge. It is considered a fairytale retelling - which I'm not a fan of btw - but Ms. Hodge's style just does it for me somehow. Her willingness to keep these tales as dark and haunting as possible is a beautiful thing.

In Crimson Bound, Ms. Hodge incorporates a mixture of The Grandmother's Tale (a 14th century French version of Little Red Riding Hood) and The Girl without Hands. Personally, I had never heard of either of these
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rosamund Hodge just became an auto buy author! I completely fell in love with this world.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The Young Elites Fans
Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #37 A book with a color in the title. Buddy Read with Victoria!

4.5 A very compelling, twisted and addictive Red Riding Hood retelling. Interesting and absorbing from page one. Great characters and better development, I was very surprised to see how well the interactions between them were, the dialogue felt clever all the time. The world-building is simple and yet it feels deep and challenging, with a dark-fantasy aura. The descriptions are just incredible an
Trina (Between Chapters)
Mar 07, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
I just can't get into this. The backstory of the world and some of the terms are just too confusing to me. It definitely hasn't helped that I started this right before my son was born and had to put it down for quite a while. When I picked it back up I was so lost. I've put it down and picked it back up 3 times now and tried both the print and audio formats but was never able to get invested. I feel like the section I read was very slow and repetitive and I don't really see the point of the stor ...more
Vanessa J.
Originally posted on Books with Chemistry.

Crimson Bound is the story of Rachelle. When she was 15 years old, she was – let’s say – a good girl. She was being trained by her aunt as the next woodwife (they protect people from the power of the forest), but Rachelle is also reckless. One day, while in the woods with a forestborn, she gets careless for a moment and she’s marked by him, thus being damned: She has three days for killing someone on cold blood and becoming a bloodbound, or else she dies
Elle (TheBookishActress)

This book was absolutely spectacular. And I desperately want to give it five stars. Unfortunately, I don't feel as if it deserves the full five - there were too many issues. But I want to make it clear to everyone that this comes as recommended as most of my fives.

I want to get the issues out of the way first. The first half is really, really confusing. The pacing is just a little off; events feel slightly manufactured due to the confusion. But Hodge managed to keep me fairly engaged an
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: retelling
3-I expected-so-much-more-stars

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 th
A love triangle that works?! How is that possible?!

It's not entirely on your face, that is how!

This Red Riding Hood retelling does a very good job at offering a solid fantasy setting with specific powers and with focus on human relationships. Albeit the realization of love comes a bit abrupt just like in Cruel Beauty, the steady development of the story with Rachelle being the focal point of everything is simply great.

You have Rachelle, a hoodwinked young woman who is surviving day by day hoping
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - Restarting February 27th 2020 129 295 Mar 15, 2020 03:10PM  
Armand or Erec? Spoiler Discussion 8 152 May 12, 2019 11:45AM  
Devourer & Ending Questions. Help! 2 20 Oct 02, 2017 07:36PM  
Never Too Old For...: Buddy Read: CRIMSON BOUND by Rosamund Hodge 19 32 Aug 09, 2015 07:15PM  

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Catholic. Writer. Lay Dominican. I write books about gods & death & girls with knives. Latest: ENDLESS WATER, STARLESS SKY.

Goodreads policies: I do read messages. I seldom friend people. I never comment on reviews of my own work.

Other books in the series

Cruel Beauty (3 books)
  • Cruel Beauty
  • Gilded Ashes

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