Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund HodgePublisher: Balzer & Bray (January 28th 2014)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

Review:

First of all, obligatory Beauty and the Beast .gif of how I felt about this book.

B&theB - yay

Okay, onto the book review;

“I was raised to marry a monster”

Okay, so I love the first sentence. It just sets up a wonderful tone for the book. Cruel Beauty is a interesting retelling of Beauty and Beast with a blend of mythology, and other fairy tales.

In this retelling, Nyx is sent to to marry the demon Ignifex. Nyx is a really interesting heroine because while she accepts her fate, she’s still very bitter and anger at the hand that’s been dealt to her. This definitely makes her more relatable than the usual martyred heroines. Unlike most heroine, Nyx knows she has a dark heart, but it still very strong-willed and defiant. Funny enough, that’s a reason why Ignifex is so intrigued by her.

“And don’t tell me you’re sorry, because that would make you a very pitiful assassin.”

“I’m not an assassin!” My head snapped up and I saw that he was kneeling right beside me.

“Oh I’m sorry. That would make you a very pitiful saboteur who carries a knife for nonviolent purposes.” His crimson cat eyes where laughing at me.

Ignifex, the Gentle Lord, is also a bit unexpected. He is one demon who knows how to turn on the charm. It’s pretty easy to see why Nyx eventually falls for him. He’s an interesting mix of laid-back easiness, with layers of wickedness and darkness. (He’s wickedly charming, is what he is; girls be swooning.). Ingifex has an interesting and unique history that creates the complex character that he is.

The setting, which is mainly the magical shifting castle sounds gorgeous and intriguing and parallels the original story with it’s amazing enchantments. Nyx spends a lot of time exploring it. I particularly loved the the library, that seems to have mood swings. There’s also a gorgeous ballroom.

B&theB - twirl
Okay, you caught me. I just wanted to use this gif.

Like the original story, Nyx ends up falling in love with Ignifex, but the twist was she was originally sent as a sacrifice; to destroy Ignifex, and his castle. That being said, I’m a little sad that there wasn’t more scheming and assassin-ing. The romance ended up being very sweet and I really liked Nyx and Ignifex together. My main disappoint  with the romance however was sort of the lack of build up for this grand romance. I mean, she just doesn’t fall in love with over night, but we didn’t really get see them build their relationship either. There’s also a love triangle, depending on how you see it. I felt this add-on wasn’t really necessary. There’s also a slight twist here, though I feel like most would have a caught it.

Overall, Rosamund Hodge really wow’ed me with her debut novel. There were some flaws and a slightly confusing ending (for me anyway, though it was a happy one), but Cruel Beauty paralleled Beauty and the Beast gorgeously, all the while also creating it’s own identity. It’s magical, it’s dark, and it’s enchanting. Easily a sweet and intriguing read for the fairy-tale/mythology fans.

{*Thank to Balzer & Bray & Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for the an honest review.

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Find Rosamund Hodge:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo | Amazon.ca

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Comment

  1. This sounds like a great book. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories.

    1. It was a definitely a wonderful read. Highly recommended for Beauty & the Beast fan 😉

  2. This sounds FANTASTIC!!!! Seriously. I need it. Good thing I just ordered it.

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it! It will definitely look like on your shelf, the cover is so pretty!

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  4. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite fairy tale, and I can’t wait to read this book! Great Review 🙂

    New Follower via Bloglovin’

    1. It’s one of mine too! This was a really enjoyable retelling, hope you enjoy it heaps! Thanks for the follow!

  5. Okay, I pretty much loved this debut. The unique re-telling, mythology, and world-building won me over. I also liked that the characters were flawed. I’m glad you enjoyed Cruel Beauty too. I didn’t think about the library having mood swings until you mention it, and you’re totally right-it did! Great review, Cyn 🙂
    PS
    The .gifs are so cute and perfect!

    1. It was definitely a great read! I’m glad you enjoyed it too! I think I felt like the library had mood swings, b/c one day it rained on them haha.

      Thanks, this book was the perfect issue to use Beauty & the Beast .gifs haha.

  6. YAY I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as well! I’m loving the Beauty and the Beasts gifs. I don’t like adding gifs in reviews, but I think this book definitely calls for gifs ;D Excellent review, Cyn! 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. Heck yeah, glad you enjoyed it too. The romance was my favorite part though, the way she’s always threaten him and tell him not to trust her was funny, yet sexy. I loved the library scene when she kept stealing his keys – lol. I kind of want to go read it again now. 😀

  8. Fun review

  9. OH, yeah… I forgot the confusing ending… all that running. And the bird that was OVER the other demons. Yeah, that confused me a bit too. But I was goners over Ignifex and the world like you were. I be swoonin!!!! bwahahahahaha!!! I’m totally using that!!! Love it! Much better review than mine!!! 😀

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