Home / Book Review / Little Red Riding Hood Retelling | Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Little Red Riding Hood Retelling | Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound was made for fantasy lovers and romance-a-holics.

Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Goodreads | Amazon | Rosamund Hodge’s Website

crimson bound rosumund hodge book review

Title & Author: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Retelling

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Series: Standalone

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher


“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.”

All the Stars

Oh. My. GOSH! Rosamund Hodge has done it again. She’s taken the essence of a story we all know – Little Red Riding Hood – and made it into something totally and completely unique.

In fact, think of the Little Red Riding Hood as more of a loose inspiration for the story.

Crimson Bound is set in a fae-dwelling world – they’re called woodspawn – with dark magic and French themes (names, words and settings).

Then add in life-altering revenge, an Darkling-type situation and unsuspecting heroes. This book is simply fantastic.

First of all, Crimson Bound has so many layers. We’ve got our conflicted heroine in Rachelle. After a mistake that has cost her her freedom and self-worth, Rachelle dedicates her life to killing the woodspawn.

The description of the woodspawn is a type of Brothers Grimm-style magic. It’s old and dark and malevolent. Also, it’s creepy (but not too creepy if you’re a wimp like me) and definitely sets the tone for the story.

Then we’ve got a twisting mystery, superstition, palace intrigue and so many more juicy details that make this story so rich and full of life.

Plus, there were so many things that happened that I just didn’t expect. They weren’t plot twists per se, but just exciting moments that throw you off the trail and make you rethink what’s really going on.

After her first book Cruel Beauty, I knew Hodge was an author to watch. Now, I know she’s an author to carefully follow all the places.

Note: Crimson Bound is a standalone novel, and it is not a part of the Cruel Beauty universe…despite their similar covers.


This book is an excellent fantasy filled with rich detail and melt-worthy romance. I absolutely loved this story, feeling lost in its exciting storyline and unexpected twists and turns. I cannot recommend Crimson Bound enough – it’s a truly remarkable read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • I love this review. And the cover is awesome. I love retellings so I would love to read this one.

  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I loved this book, and can’t wait to get a finished copy for my shelves! I think it’s awesome that they made the covers the same-ish, since they’re both retellings and even if they’re not related, they kind of go together.

  • Stephanie

    I keep getting Cruel Beauty and The Glass Casket mixed in my head, because I read them about a month a part and I remember I couldn’t put either down until they were over. I checked back on Goodreads on Cruel Beauty and I only gave it 3 stars… Thinking back, I remember the story and characters were interesting and I was entertained the whole time, but I think I wanted more layers/answers to the world she built and the magic used. Hopefully in this book she improves on that! I haven’t read too many retellings of Little Red Riding Hood (maybe just Scarlet, which was awesome), so I’m excited for a ‘new’ish fairy tale plot.

    The covers on these books are so pretty, so I’m glad they are similar looking, but I’m ALSO glad that this is a standalone book!

  • Brittany Welsh

    You got me. I’m reading both ASAP.