Monday, March 9, 2015

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Classification: Young Adult, Retellings, Fairy Tale, Mythology
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Hardback (won from a giveaway)
Read: March 2015
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.

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***I won a copy of this book from a giveaway. This does not change the way I view this book.***

Honestly, I knew I wanted to read this book right away when I found out that it was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Plus I found the cover to be absolutely gorgeous! (I LOVE it!) In fact, between knowing that and the cover,  I didn't even bother to read the synopsis before starting it. So I didn't really realize at first that there was Mythology in this story as well. Which I think is pretty awesome. I love the Fairy Tale Retelling-Mythology mash-up. I found it as an interesting and unique way to do this story!

Due to a bargain made before she was even born, Nyx has been promised to marry Ignifex, an immortal demon prince when she turns seventeen. Her father has trained her to kill the demon prince to break the curse that has been placed on her people. Since she has no choice but to accept her fate, Nyx tries to figure out a way to destroy her new husband. But the longer Nyx is with Ignifex, the more she wonders if killing him is the right decision. 

I loved reading this story. It was so easy for me to get sucked in and need to know what was going to happen next. I think that Rosamund Hodge did an amazing job writing this well-developed story! There were parts that made me smile, parts that twisted my heart, and parts that left my heart racing! I

There is a lot of information in this story. At first I was a bit confused, but it all started to make sense to me as the story progressed. I am interested in Mythology, but I honestly don't know very much about it. (I learned a few things in high school, most I have forgotten.) But that didn't stop me from really enjoying this book. I loved the Mythology part of the story!

The Hermetic stuff was a very fascinating element of the story. I enjoyed reading about it and how it would all play out throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the fact that the castle shifted and rooms were constantly changing. 

I really like the characters as well. 

I found Nyx to be a strong character. She has accepted her fate and will do whatever she can to make things better. She stands up for herself and has a lot of determination. I also really like her character development. I really enjoyed the banter and developing relationship between her and Ignifex. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the story. And I like that Nxy and Ignifex seem to have things in common. Even though she dislikes him and his bargains. Ignifex is also an interesting character. I really enjoyed learning more about him and about the curse. 

My Recommendation:
I found Cruel Beauty to be a wonderfully written mix of Fairy Tale and Mythology. I really enjoyed the parallels to Beauty and the Beast that I noticed, but also how the story is different. I recommend reading this book if you enjoy reading Fairytale Retellings. I loved reading the story and am looking forward to reading more from this author! I am so glad I read this book!

My Rating:


  1. Beauty and the Beast is my FAVORITE!! I must read this!! Thank you for sharing!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. YAY! I hope you LOVE it like I did! I really enjoyed reading it. :D


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