Friday, February 14, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

352 pages
Rating: 3/5
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 know it's wrong to judge a book by its cover, but I mean, look at this thing. Could you help yourself? But I learned that I should rely less on the summary. From there, I gathered that she would be this kickass assassin chick, but she was far less skilled than someone who's been training her life should be. Her husband knew what she was up to the moment he saw her.

So, Nyx is this ridiculously selfish girl raised by ridiculously selfish people, all of whom have a singleminded goal that's more important than Nyx's own survival to them. If ever there was a main character I wasn't expecting to like, it would be this one, but she didn't make it easy. One second, I'd think "Wow, this girl is pretty awesome. KEEP IT UP!" and then the next I'd be screaming (out loud sometimes) "I HATE YOU. YOU MAKE STUPID DECISIONS AND MY HEART HURTS."

Ignifex was perfection. Throughout the book, I was just enthusiastically waiting for more scenes with him in it and from the very beginning, I knew he would probably end up being my favorite character. Truth be told, when I found out that he was demon lord, I knew there was no hope for me. But if you were expecting some hideous creature, then try no to be too alarmed when you're introduced a breathtakingly beautiful demigod, yeah? And then his personality. Oh man, he was funny, and snarky, and SO ENTERTAINING.

The plot was much darker than I had expected. It's not like Beastly, if that's what you think you'll get when you pick this up. There are demons and death and horrible bargains and myths. It makes you feel claustrophobic, though that might have been the intention of the author. At times, it felt like the book fell flat plot-wise, but on the other hand, there were times that I devoured happily. And then the ending... (highlight to read because the font is white) I'm happy, but not quite satisfied because it was a little abrupt. Not enough time for a proper happily ever after. 

I'd recommend this to people who like retellings, but don't come in thinking you're reading a Disney fairytale. And if you enjoy demons or slightly dark romances, have at it! It'll be perfect for you! Personally, I'd probably only recommend this to a certain type of person, because this definitely isn't going to be everyone's flavor.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Hi Amber! I came across your blog through goodreads, so I figured to stop by and say hello! I am also now following your blog :)

    Your review is the 2nd I've come across for Cruel Beauty which is a good thing because I've been on the fence whether I should give it a shot. I like fairytale retellings, but I also have noticed it is a huge thing now and am beginning to wonder if the genre is getting a little too overrun with retellings.

    I can totally understand why you would fall in love with the cover. It is gorgeous and eye catching and I have done this many times myself!

    Anyway, great review! Feel free to stop by my blog sometime. I am always looking for new blogger buddies and followers to chat with!

    Best Wishes,
    Mia @ The Muses Circle

  2. This is on my tbr list for March and I'm glad to see that the author went in a darker direction with it :) Will be bumping it up to the top of my March list-thanks for the review!


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