27 April 2014

{Book Review} Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

By: Me My Shelf And I | 27 April 2014 at 11:13 AM | | | | | | | | | | |


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. – From Goodreads synopsis


Cruel Beauty
Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Pages: 342
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 5 Birds

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.

I don’t think there are many people that can say they haven’t seen this book either on one of their favorite blogs, on youtube, or any other form of social media, Cruel Beauty is HOT right now in the reading universe!

For those of you, who don’t know what Cruel Beauty is about (and I don’t know why you wouldn’t!) it’s basically a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast….except with a demon lord, and a captured prince who will forever be a prisoner!

Before she was born, Nyx’s father made a deal with the demon lord, as many people did in their moment of desperation, asking him to allow his wife to bare a child. The demon lord decided to grant his wish, but instead he would have twins, and when they came of age, one of the two daughters would become the demon lord’s wife. As you might have assumed, the demon lord doesn’t just give out wishes, but instead asks for something far worse in return.

Since she was eight, when Nyx was told that she would be marrying the demon lord in a few years to come, she knew that her sister Astraia was her father’s favorite. The way he looked at her, treated her, almost as if she had no idea of ALL the evil things lurking around the corner. On the other hand Nyx has no one. She doesn’t have her father, because he shows her no affection at all. She doesn’t have her mother who passed away years ago. And she doesn’t have her aunt, who instead spends a few nights in bed with her father.

Nyx has been trained from the day she was informed about her fate, to defeat and kill the demon lord, and bring her community back to normal. She knows what she has to do, and she has prepared as much as she possibly could have, but all that doesn’t matter, when Nyx wakes up on her wedding day, knowing this might be the last day she’ll ever see her family, or ever breathe air outside of his mansion.

But as many of you Beauty and the Beast fans may know, the demon lord isn’t much like he is claimed to be. Yes, he grants these wishes, and causes people harm in their lives. But nobody knows that he, himself is forced to do it by a greater power. He, himself, is a prisoner as well.

After spending days, even weeks with him, Nyx sees a different side than the rumors and stories she’s been told about the demon lord. Instead of destroying him, Nyx almost…wants to help him.

Nyx is torn between her heart and her head. She doesn’t know what to do…can she really get herself to kill the only man that’s ever loved her, that’s ever showed her affection, that’s ever kissed her?

Cruel Beauty shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, in the most unexpected ways!

Cruel Beauty was such a good read! When I was little I LOVED Beauty and the Beast, and Cruel Beauty gave me that same joy and so much more! It didn’t follow the original story exactly, which I liked as well. I felt that the author added their own spin and personality to it, which made it that much more interesting!

If you’ve read any of reviews of Cruel Beauty or have heard anyone talking about it, then you may know about the whole “name issue”. This wasn’t really an issue for me at all. I can see where people might have a hard time pronouncing some of the names, but I guess that just isn’t something that bothers me. One thing I do have to say about this topic though, is the similarity between Nyx’s sister’s name and the name of their city. Her sister is named, Astraia and her city is called Arcadia…throughout a good portion of the book was completely confused on which was which.

Throughout this entire read I was Team Ignifex, the demon lord, because not only am I a true Beauty and the Beast fan, but he was so gentle and caring for her; even when she was trying to find any way to destroy him. While I LOVED Ignifex, I really enjoyed a lot of the other characters; Astraia, her aunt, her dad and Shade.

Overall I found Cruel Beauty to be a fantastic and lovely retelling of a story that I loved in my childhood! The ending was a HUGE twist, that ripped apart my fragile heart, but quickly sewed it back again.

I hope you decide to give this one a shot, enjoy it as well!

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  1. I have copy of this one. I absolutely loved Beauty and the Beast, so knowing this is a retelling makes me a happy camper. :) Glad you love it!

    1. I'm a HUGE fan of Beauty and the Beast, especially when I was little. I don't understand how my parents put up with me wanting to watch the movie ALL day EVERY day. But Cruel Beauty gives you that and so much more! I hope you give it a try soon and enjoy it!


  2. I just picked this up from the library because everyone is raving about this one lately. I cant wait to dive into the story.

    Thanks for the great review!

    1. Thank you so much for your AWESOME comment! I hope you enjoy it! I really liked it and I felt it was a amazing retelling!


  3. An excellent, excellent debut. I am pre-ordering Cruel Beauty, and I am looking forward to reading more from Rosamund Hodge.
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