Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Cruel Beauty

Title - Cruel Beauty
Author - Rosamund Hodge
Series - Cruel Beauty Universe 
Genre - YA Retelling
Published - January 28th 2014
Publisher - Balzer + Bray


Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love. 

Nyx has known since she was born that she’s the one who will avenge her mother’s death and save her kingdom from the evil demon ruler. Of course she’s trained her whole life on how to kill him she just has to marry him first.  Growing up hasn’t been easy for Nyx after all her twin is her father’s favorite and he doesn’t show Nyx he same affection. When the time comes Nyx is married arriving at the castle she finds the ruler like the castle isn’t exactly what she expected.

Nyx is torn between the Ignifex her husband and Shade who is his servant who she’s formed a connection with. The more time she spends with each she finds herself falling deeper in love with Shade who is determined that she needs to follow the plan and kill Ignifex. Nyx is torn between both men knowing she needs to save her kingdom even though she finds herself falling for him. When she uncovers the secrets and finds herself betrayed will it change everything she had planned?

I like Nyx she’s kind of whinny but it works, after all growing up in your twins shadow knowing you have to risk your life to save your kingdom I would be resentful also. I like that she let herself fall for the lord even if her destiny is to kill him and free her home. I like the chemistry between Nyx and Ignifex it just works they may not have the purest hearts but they feel something special for each other.

I’ve been on the fence for a while wanting to start Cruel Beauty but always talking myself out of it. I admit I was a little nervous to see a darker side to one of my favorite fairy tales but decided it was time. This is my first Beauty and the Beast retelling so I had some high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed it was better than I expected. I found the concept captivating it’s a unique spin on the traditional idea of Beauty and the Beast. I really liked that the story is dark and tragic it pulls on your heart strings and takes you for an emotional ride. I really enjoyed Cruel Beauty I actually finished it in one day it was hard to put down I had to see what would happen with Nyx. I really liked all the characters and found them all easy to connect with on some level. I really liked the way it played out in the end, I didn’t see it come so it was great loved all the twists and turns. If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast I highly recommend you check this retelling out it very well could be better than the original.


  1. Cruel Beauty is a fantastic retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast that rivets its reader and drags them into a world where the bad guy has depths beyond destroying the hero.

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