We've got another guest review! Many thanks, Skye!
I hate to give this one a low rating because the writing and characters were phenomenal as usual. I guess it was a matter of me having too high of expectations, that made this one fall flat for me. That and I was under the impression that it was just a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but it was mixed with a retelling of The Girl with No Hands. Which I have never heard of, so I was flying blind.
This story felt, really fast paced to me and I constantly felt like I had missed something.
It starts simply enough we meet Rachelle who is training to be a wood wife or a wise woman, or something like that . She weaves charms to protect people from the Great Forest. Which seems to be alive and moving and appears at random. So she is walking to her Aunt's cottage, when she meets a firstborn, which I take is a powerful demon like creatures that serve the forest, and can be in the form of animals or people.
He convinces her to step off the path, and Rachelle thinking she is strong enough to outwit the thing. Stupidly plays into his hands. He eventually gets her to take off her red cloak and belt which are full of charms to protect her.
He then marks her turning her into a bloodbound. Being marked mean she has to kill in three days or die, and if she kills she turns into a bloodbound which comes with some perks. One of them not being that eventually she will succumb to the darkness of the forest and become a Firstborn, who thrive off of destruction and death.
Skip some years ahead, Rachelle is now the King's bloodbound, who is tasked with fighting off the wood spawn, which are wolf like beings of the forest who ravage towns and villages.
She is hated and feared by humans, and is fighting the increasing pull the forest has on her. The King then commands her to guard one of his many possible heirs, Armand who is praised as being a saint, because he was marked, but did not kill thus outwitting the Firstborn.
She hates him, but enlist his help to find a sword that is fabled to kill the devourer, who will plunge the world into an endless night.
Things I liked
1. Armand- First off he has no hands, and he was the main love interest. We need more characters like him in literature. He was very, nice and almost too forgiving. My favorite character by far.
2. The fairy tale twist, loved the parts that paralleled with little Red Riding Hood.
3.The forest itself was an intriguing concept
4. The fight scenes
Things I didn't
1. Rachelle's naivety in regards to everyone really, but mostly Erec. She hated him, yet she ends up sleeping with him anyway.
2. Erec, I think you're supposed to hate him, erggh the very essence of creepy. He is like a wolfish ladies man.. . spoilers
3. It was rather gruesome and dark, house made out bone, dripping blood. Dark Devourer thingy. Horrible deaths and some possession. There was also a little creepy story, that was told throughout.
4. Too much sexual tension, and lustful moments, and a kiss that was taken forcefully.
5.The use of a Bible story mixed in with some very weird stuff, ( essentially someone is turned to salt.)
I didn't enjoy this book, maybe it's just me. Something about it bothered me, and I think it was spiritually very dark and had mixed messages. I wouldn't recommend it.
Skye Hoffert is twenty- one year old writer, dreamer, and Lord of the Rings enthusiast. You can find her @ Ink Castles, most likely talking with her sassy characters. (I happen to think her characters are fantastic; meaning: go read her blog!) She also has an instagram.
Have you read this book? Or have you read any other Red Riding Hood retellings?