Rosamund Hodge is most certainly a brilliant writer. I loved her Cruel Beauty, and this one I loved too, although not quite as much. There were actually a couple of times while reading when I wasn't so crazy about this book, but by the time I got to the end and all the pieces were in place I couldn't help but love it.
Just like Cruel Beauty, this one is about redemption. The characters are flawed in this one too, and we get to see Rachelle struggle with her weaknesses. I loved how the forestborn was so beguiling. To me there was quite a lot of allegory in this. I'm not sure how much of it was truly meant to be that way, but I enjoyed it very much.
I was not completely surprised when a certain someone's secret is revealed closer to the end of the book. I suspected it from the beginning, but I liked the way it was right under Rachelle's nose the whole time and she couldn't see it. Actually there were quite a few things right under her nose the whole time that she couldn't see. That could have ended up being a bad thing character-wise and made her a really weak character but in this case it doesn't. Instead it lends to the story and the character building rather than taking away from it. Sometimes we just can't see the forest for the trees.
Crimson Bound was inspired by Red Riding Hood. It does have elements of that story, but it goes way beyond it to tell a complex and completely different tale with multilayered characters. There are no wolves in this book, but instead we get Fae-like creatures called the forestborn. There wasn't a lot of detail that went into describing them when they were in their true form, which I found a little disappointing.
There are very few things I would change about this book. I think the main thing that I wish was different is the amount of time we get in the beginning of the book with Rachelle and Erec when they are working together as bloodbound. I think I would have understood the conflicted feelings she had for him a lot better if we had actually spent more time there. A lesser complaint would be the whole makeup and beauty thing with Amelie. I felt like it was a little frivolous for the rest of the story.
I think at this point I will read anything Rosamund Hodge writes. I'm looking forward to reading whatever she comes up with next.