For the #grimdark challenge, underhyped/underrated, Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge and Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay are way underrated. I think there are mixed reviews about these books because these are dark fairytale retellings..
Crimson Bound is a Red Riding Hood retelling, and it’s so well done! If you liked Rosamund Hodge’s first book Cruel Beauty (inspired by Beauty and the Beast), then you’ll love this more! I love how the author used 18th century French history as inspiration for the world building. I also liked that the Woods was treated as both a mythical creature and active character in the story. The main character Rachelle makes a choice that alters the course of her life. She can’t take back what she did but Rachelle believes if she can find the hidden sword Joyeuse, she can make things right by using it to rid their world of the encroaching Wood.
Princess of Thorns is inspired by the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale told by Basile. (You know the one where the King who finds Sleeping Beauty, rapes her and then the King’s wife, the Queen finds out about it and the children, and orders the Cook to kill Sleeping Beauty and cook the children? Yeah. That one.) This story is told through Aurora, Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, who after her mother’s death, manages to escape with her twin brother to the Faes. Aurora and her brother are raised by the Fae in secret, but her brother is captured by the evil Queen. Armed with her sword and the blessings of the fairies for strength and quickness, Aurora sets out on a quest to rescue her brother.
This is also for #livelaughbooksseptember, Series vs. Standalone. While I love getting into an epic series (ahem. Mistborn.), it’s also fun reading a fantastic stand alone too which these are!