An exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, from the author of Cruel Beauty.
When Rachelle was 15, 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 a vain effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son, Armand - the man she hates most - Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign, and no one can be trusted. And as the two become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic... and a love that may be their undoing. Within a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
©2015 Rosamund Hodge (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
I hesitated to read this because I really loved CRUEL BEAUTY and I'm one of those crazy people who always worries that the next one won't be as good. I shouldn't have worried. This book was pretty much flawless. Amazing characters, amazing world building, and such gorgeous prose. I couldn't put it down.
I should mention that calling this a Little Red Riding Hood retelling is a bit of a stretch. But that was totally fine with me because the story she was telling was way better.
I really enjoyed the lore of this book a lot. It was fantastically original, with a slight tease of the "Little Red Riding Hood" vibe in as well, which was exciting believe it or not (even though it was very small). But the thrill of the lore never died down like some books do. Rosamund Hodge's book are great. I read Cruel Beauty by Hodge and I was highly satisfied. Also, I'm a picky Audible listener. I decide based on the narrator reading the novel whether or not I'm going to Listen or just read the book instead. But Elizabeth Knowelden was surperb and more than enough for this one. Perfect actually. Overall, I think both the author and the narrator did a wonderful job at creating and maintaining a truly unique and grim tale for book lovers.
Rosamund Hodge is a pretty good story teller, her worlds are interesting, dark, and stimulating, but her characters all seem a bit too similar, whether in thought, deed, or dialogue. The worst part of her stories is the constant reminders she gives her readers of what is at stake, what the heroine is fighting for, what she must do, why she must do it and how. Several times during the story I felt like shouting, "Alright, yes, we get it! You've already made it abundantly clear she hates herself and feels guilty and that she must find a way to kill the devourer, you can give us something else now."
Aside from the annoying repetition, her stories ARE gripping and you really do want to see how it all turns out. I would read/listen to another of Rosamund Hodges stories in a heartbeat, but I do hope that in the next one she can find a way to clue the reader in without smacking them in the face with it every few paragraphs.
I loved the broken and imperfect heroes. A story that hints at something familiar, but is also totally new. I think it's a really incentive story with great characters, pacing, and development. I enjoyed it all the way through. Couldn't stop listening!
Wow, the story had many layers, a story within a story. Inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, it had a dark element to it but also written with wit and humor. I love the dialogues between Rachelle/ Erec and Rachelle/ Armand. .The story and characters really pulled me in. Worth using my 1 credit.
Elizabeth did a superb job narrating the book, she is now one of my favorite narrators. I love her english accent.The tone and accent she gave to each character was perfect. She really brought the book to life.
Yes, I could listen to this book in one sitting. It was non stop action and intrigue. The writing was beautiful and original.
This is a book that older teen and adult will enjoy. It had all the elements in a book I like in fantasy book: well written, good storyline and plot, strong heroine (Rachelle is deadly with a sword), memorable characters and a little romance. This is definitely one of the best written YA fantasy books I've read/listened to so far. Rachelle reminds me of Katsa in Graceling.
If you just need a dull voice with a slow moving story arch, this is perfect.
Red Riding Hood is of German origin, not French; so, that was an artistic twist that almost overshadowed the characters. Had I read the book instead of listening to the audiobook, I would have believed the tone and language to be from the author's own mind and imagination - sadly, the narrator makes it perfectly clear how French this German tale is.
There's a great build up about the Destroyer which is over within a chapter. If you don't mind a lack of character development, dull foreshadowing, and slow tone, then this book is great.
I enjoyed this book but had to go back a bit. Hard to follow sometimes.
Read or listen to this book when you have no or very limited distractions.
Good story though. Gloomy and creepy but in a good way.
I love books, they save you, get you in trouble, and fill a piece of your heart that is always going missing. They are simply enchanting.
I love the sound of the narration, I just wish it had been a different narrator than the first book.
Its a unique take on Little Red Riding Hood, in that towards the beginning you can see the parallels to the story but by the end you just wind up confused. I loved Rosamund Hodge's first book and couldn't wait to listen to this one, its a good story but far to similar to her first book. The fact that she used the same narrator and its read the exact same way doesn't help. There were several times I found myself having to rewind to listen to what happened. Its dull in too many places.
I did love the parts where she describes the story of the two swords and original siblings. I wouldn't mind if that became its own book, it was a much more compelling story.
The forest is everywhere...
This is a wonderful story, but give it more than a few months between her first novel and this one if you want to truly enjoy it. Rosamund Hodge gives old stories a delightful new twist, I do want to see what she does next.
Don't let the simplistic Little Red Riding Hood rebelling fool you. This story expands more on that concept than I could have possibly imagined and it was certainly not what I was expecting. The story is riveting from the beginning to end. The romance of the novel does not completely overtake the plot (something that is seriously beginning to bother me in YA novels), but is a great sub plot. The narrator is absolutely wonderful and very engaging. I enjoyed this audiobook immensely.
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