Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Crimson Bound: Links and a Giveaway

Crimson Bound, the second novel by Darwin's sister Rosamund Hodge, comes out on Tuesday, May 5th. What can be behind that fabulous cover? Amazon sez:
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 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 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?
Crimson Bound is inspired not only by Little Red Riding Hood (an older, more sinister version of the story), but by the lesser-known fairy tale The Girl With No Hands. Here's an interview in which Rose discusses these sources and the way the tensions between them shaped the novel.
“The Girl With No Hands” is pretty obscure, so you might not have heard about it. Basically, a poor miller meets the devil, who offers to make him rich if he only promises that in three years he can have “what is standing behind your mill.” The miller, who apparently has never read any myths or fairy tales ever, thinks that this just means the apple tree planted in back of the mill. But actually it’s his daughter.
When the devil turns up to collect, the miller doesn’t try to save his daughter. It’s the devil, so what can you do? But the girl draws a circle of chalk around herself, and the devil can’t cross the line. So he tells the miller to take away all water from the girl, so that she can’t wash her hands, and somehow that will give him power over her. (Cleanliness is next to godliness, I guess.) The miller doesn’t want to offend the devil, so he takes away all water from his daughter. But she weeps on her hands so much they are washed clean, and when the devil turns up the next day, he still can’t take her. So the devil orders the miller to cut off her hands.
It’s the devil. What can you do? So the miller chops off his daughter’s hands.  But when the devil comes back, she’s wept on the stumps until they are clean. And three tries are all the devil gets: he has to go away, and while the miller offers to support his newly-handless daughter with his devil-riches, the girl says  that she will go wandering instead.
There’s a second half to the story, where the girl marries a king and the devil forges letters in attempt to get her killed, but I didn’t use that part in Crimson Bound. Because what captivated me about the story was the beginning: a lone girl, betrayed by her own father, utterly helpless to the point where her own body is not her own.
And yet utterly strong. Because when everything else is taken away from her, the girl doesn’t break. She doesn’t lose herself. It’s like The Grandmother’s Tale–there’s a malevolent supernatural force that wants to make an innocent girl his–but this time the girl wins.
So when I read that story, I thought, “Wow, if Little Red Riding Hood ever met the Girl With No Hands, she would hate her so much.”

Curious to know more? You can read the first 74 pages here.

And to celebrate the book release, we're giving away two copies of Crimson Bound! Leave a comment to enter (if you're anonymous, don't forget to include some kind of name), and we'll draw names from Eleanor's adventure hat and announce the winners in an update to this post at noon tomorrow, Saturday May 2.


Jenny said...

Sign me up!

sarah e. said...

I'd love to win a copy!

Kelly said...

Count me in!

entropy said...

That sounds fascinating! I'm in.

mandamum said...

I'm fascinated :) Please enter me too.

Laura Staum said...

Darwin and Mrs. Darwin have the coolest sisters.

Lydia Cubbedge said...

Pick me! Pick me!

Jeffrey Kinney said...

Racheal loved her other ones.

Blueoctoberroses said...

I'd love a copy!

Skywalker said...

Me too!

Em said...

I'd love to have a copy! Cruel Beauty was excellent and this one sounds just as good.

Jeff Miller said...

I'm buying it regardless. Already own Cruel Beauty as both an ebook and audiobook.

Anonymous said...

I want a copy. Ebere

Darwin said...

And the winners are:


Lydia Cubbedge

Please email us at with your addresses and we'll get those books out to you via Amazon Prime!

Darwin said...

Or if you prefer a Kindle version, we can send that too.