By Rosamund Hodge
Balzer + Bray, 2015. 448 pages. Young Adult
Rachelle was apprenticed to her aunt as the next village wood wife and protector. But she meets a stranger in the woods who curses her to make a terrible choice and become bound to the very thing she was trying to fight. Three years later she is working for the king, trying to make up for her mistakes by fighting deadly creatures. However, all of her efforts seem in jeopardy when she's ordered to guard the king's insufferable son Armand.
When I read online that this was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, I was shocked, because I never made that connection at all. In fact, this story bears little resemblance to any fantasy I've ever read before. The main character is grappling with dark forces, both within herself and on the outside. The story also takes many unexpected turns, unlike most fantasy novels. I enjoyed it immensely, and would recommend it for anyone interested in a darker, more complex fantasy story than usual.