Crimson Bound: DNF Review

Posted July 9, 2015 by Carlisa in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Crimson Bound: DNF ReviewCrimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 5, 2015
Genres: Fairytale, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

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.

First, let me start by saying this: I rarely don’t finish books. Even if I don’t like a book, I’ll usually stick through it to the end, albeit sometimes with severe eye-rolling. That being said, this book isn’t awful. I’ve read and finished many books that I disliked much more than this one. I just was not feeling it and this book was putting me in a reading slump…so I moved on. At about 50%, mind you. So, let’s talk about it.

I really wanted to like this book. I started reading it thinking I was really going to like this book. I really enjoyed Hodge’s take on Beauty and the Beast in Cruel Beauty.  But this one just didn’t do it for me.

I think the biggest reason was that the mythology was confusing. In CB, there are aspects of Greek mythology used which I thought was a really interesting combination with the fairy tale, fantasy, and mythology. But that mythology was somewhat familiar to me so I was able to comprehend it and keep moving forward in the story. In Crimson Bound, however, it was a new mythology, unique to its world. A mythology that Hodge made up completely. Which was so unique, don’t get me wrong. And I don’t know if it wasn’t explained thoroughly enough or if I just didn’t fully grasp the exposition…but I just didn’t get the mythology behind their world. And that was something vital to understanding what was going on. There’s a capital-f Forest that just starts materializing everywhere and something evil called the Devourer and I. Just. Don’t. Understand. Why. If you’ve read it, please help me understand!

Besides the mythology, there was an obvious love triangle forming, with an obvious ending. I didn’t have to look anywhere or Google anything to know who she’s going to end up with…from the first moment of meeting the character, I knew. View Spoiler » And everything seemed very forced between Armand and Rachelle. Of course, I didn’t read the entire thing so that could have changed.

Most of all, this book was putting me in a slump. I put it down and didn’t read for almost two days. Two. Days. And that might not seem like a lot to you but it is to me! It just made me lose all desire to pick it up…and that’s when I decided just to take out the bookmark and move on.

Sooooo, I’ll just take my unpopular opinion and skedaddle.



  • You’re not alone Carlisa! I ADORED Cruel Beauty but I thought this was a hot mess. The whole overall conflict had me scratching my head and I still don’t quite understand what The Devourer is.

    • Yeah I had NO idea what the Devourer really was. This living, breathing forest that randomly appeared everywhere? Super confusing. Glad to hear I’m not alone.