The Social Potato welcomes Rosamund Hodge to the blog
Death Before Dishonor
by Rosamund Hodge
We’ve all heard the phrase “death before dishonor.” It doesn’t have a good reputation. For most of us, it calls to mind codes we find archaic and actions we find abhorrent–men dueling each other to the death over trivial insults, or women committing suicide to avoid being raped. At best, it suggests soldiers going down in a suicide charge rather than retreat and live to fight another day. Not something you want to emulate.
But of course, it’s not the “death before” part that most of us have a problem with; it’s what constitutes “dishonor.” Do you remember in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Sirius Black confronts Peter Pettigrew, who betrayed the Potters to Voldemort and let Sirius take the blame?
“You don’t understand!” whined Pettigrew. “He would have killed me, Sirius!”
“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!” roared Black. “DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!”
Who among us did not agree with Sirius? While we might draw the line in slightly different places, we all agree that there some times when, if you’re faced with the choice of “do this or die,” the correct choice is “die.”
Usually we make this judgment for two reasons. One is that the not-dying choice will bring about something even more awful than your own death. Princess Leia doesn’t reveal the location of the rebel base, even though it gets her scheduled for termination, because her own life is not as important as protecting the Rebellion and restoring freedom to the galaxy.
But the other reason is that the not-dying choice is worse for you.
“I want to die as myself,” Peeta says in The Hunger Games, before he heads into the Arena with Katniss. “I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster I’m not.”
Dying is scary. Not being yourself anymore is sometimes even scarier, hence the enduring power of zombie stories. In fiction, doing the right thing in desperate circumstances is often presented as a form of self-preservation, akin to the shoot-me-before-I-turn of zombie stories: if you cross the line, you will not be the same. You will destroy yourself.
And that’s true. If you do something, you will forever be a person who has done that thing; that’s how time and causality work. And when you do something bad, you chip away at your ability to not do it again.
But doing the wrong thing is not the same as turning into a zombie. Peter Pettigrew could have been sorry for betraying the Potters. He wasn’t, and it was never very likely that he would be, but it wasn’t impossible.
And if he had, then he would have needed to live with what he’d done. What does it mean when you can look back at your life and say, “I should have died first”? Does that mean you would, even now, be better off dead? Is there any way you should be allowed to be happy?
One of the reasons I wrote Crimson Bound was to explore that question.
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 an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?
Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
About the Author:
Rosamund Hodge loves mythology, Hello Kitty, and T. S. Eliot. She writes YA fantasy that draws on two of those things. In her wild youth, she studied Medieval English at Oxford; she now lives in Seattle and writes wildly. Visit her on the web at http://www.rosamundhodge.net or follow her on Twitter: @rosamundhodge.
After falling in love with Cruel Beauty last year, I was ready to see what else Rosamund had to offer. When I found out she had a new book coming out, and that it would be a retelling of Red Riding Hood, I was over the moon! This book was absolutely, a 100%, worth the wait. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning finishing the book and I loved every single minute of it. Here are reasons why you should read the book.
1. The fantastic female lead. Rachelle is badass and she is almost an anti-heroine but you cannot help love her and want to cheer for her because even though she doesn’t believe it, we know that she is a fantastic human being at heart.
2. Armand. ARMAND WAS SO SWOON-WORTHY and I cannot even. Whoever said good boys finish last? I know I didn’t because good boys like Armand are definitely not going to finish last. The thing about Armand is that he is so pure of heart and so good but he isn’t helpless. He is confident and knows how to take charge. He is a wonderful human being and I love him.
3. The romance. While the romance needed some more development (in my opinion) I will definitely say that it was one of the more enjoyable ones I’ve read. Armand and Rachelle do not have a case of instalove and it’s so great seeing them fall in love with each other (even if it was a little sudden). They work well together and I just love them, okay?
4. The world building. Given how great it was in Rosamund’s debut novel, it’s not surprising at all that she put so much effort into developing this new world and it’s intricate details.
5. The plot. It’s well paced and maybe you’ll even pull an all nighter reading the book like I did.
So basically, you should read this amazing book.
Don’t forget to check out all the other amazing tour stops on this blog tour:
Monday, 4/20 The Midnight Garden Fairy Tale Inspiration: Little Red Riding Hood & The Girl with No Hands
Tuesday, 4/21 Mundie Moms Cosmetics for Badasses
Wednesday, 4/22 Two Chicks on Books Audiobook Clip + Interview
Thursday, 4/23 YA Romantics Flash Fiction #1
Friday, 4/24 Cuddlebuggery The Obligatory Strong Heroine Post
Monday, 4/27 YA Midnight Reads Writing a Bad Girl/Good Boy Romance
Tuesday, 4/28 Alice Marvels Flash Fiction #2
Wednesday, 4/29 The Daily Prophecy Interview
Thursday, 4/30 The Social Potato Death Before Dishonor
Friday, 5/1 The Starry-Eyed Revue Flash Fiction #3
Thanks to Harper Teen, we’re giving away two prizes! The first prize is a bundle of Rosamund Hodge books, including hardback copies of CRIMSON BOUND and CRUEL BEAUTY, and the second prize is a giveaway for the fantastic audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. Let us know in the comments which of the two you’d prefer, or if you’re open to either one.
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