SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1518 Red Hood's Revenge, by Jim C. Hines Book Review |

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Red Hood's Revenge, by Jim C. Hines
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Published: 2010
Review Posted: 7/6/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Red Hood's Revenge, by Jim C. Hines

Book Review by Joshua Palmatier

Have you read this book?

Red Hood's Revenge is the third book in Jim C. Hines' Princess series and I have to say that it is by far the best. In fact, I think it's the best book Jim has written to date.

The main idea is that Little Red Riding Hood isn't as innocent as you might think and has become the Lady of the Red Hood, one of the kingdom's best assassins. She has been bested in the past only once by Talia (Sleeping Beauty) when she made an attempt on Queen Bea's life. Now, Red Hood had returned to the kingdom of Lorindar, ostensibly in an attempt to kill Danielle (Cinderella) but with perhaps the added benefit that she'll get to face off against Talia again. Who has hired her and why is a mystery that must be solved, even as they attempt to keep Danielle and Talia alive.

If I say anything more, I'll ruin one of the twists and turns that the plot takes throughout the novel, so I'll shut up now. Suffice it say that the plot centers more around Red Hood and Talia--and specifically Talia--and that it is the most solid and focused plot that Jim Hines has written to date, which is why I enjoyed the book so much. The main idea was clear, the plotting and characters strong and focused, and we delved into a different part of this world that was both interesting and different and brought out a tremendous amount of Talia's past and the "real" story behind Sleeping Beauty. And this is why I think I liked this book better than the first two: it's focus was on one of the three main characters. The first book, The Stepsister Scheme, was focused on Danielle, but wasn't really that in depth about her back story. And the second book, The Mermaid's Madness, wasn't really about any of the three characters. But this book not only involved Talia, but the main plot was also deeply entwined with Talia's back story, and THAT is what hooked me and kept me interested. It was well thought out, and the twists came at the perfect moments.

The issues I had with the book were incredibly small. First, I'm not sure it should have been called Red Hood's Revenge, since the focus was so much on Talia instead of the Lady of the Red Hood. The Red Hood was the catalyst for the events revolving around Talia, and she certainly had a significant role to play in those events, but in the end the book was more about Talia than her or her revenge. So the title is slightly misleading. Again, a minor quibble that didn't detract from the book at all.

My second extremely minor quibble is with the one chapter that dealt with the battle before the castle. I simply wanted the battle to have been more . . . visceral I guess. More emotionally involving. There is a lot of heightening of tensions leading up to the battle, with attempts to forestall it and such, so when the battle inevitably began I felt it didn't have quite the weight that it we'd been lead to believe it would have. I think this is because the three main characters weren't involved in the battle itself much (except for Talia at the beginning), so Hines kept the focus on them instead, but I still felt the battle was glossed over a little too much. An extremely minor quibble that only affected that one chapter.

Overall, an excellent book, interesting and involving and with a strong, tight plot that kept me reading. Bravo, Jim! I look forward to the next installment.
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