Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Published: January 28, 2014
Ebook, ARC
ISBN13: 9780062224750 
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My thoughts:

Cruel Beauty had me at re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. As a huge fan of the original story I knew this book was for me. After reading a few chapters I realized it was more than that. It also stems from Greek Mythology as well. So with those two elements combined I settled down for a good read.

The story is about Nyx. Her father makes a bargain before she's born that she'll be married off to a monster that haunts her town. She's raised knowing that's her purpose in life, and also to kill the monster to free the town. Nyx hates her destiny. She's bitter towards those who love her. I can hardly blame her there. She hides so much anger in her heart that on the outside she's an obedient child, but on the inside a raging volcano of emotions.

By the time she gets to her 'new' home, she's ready to do battle with the monster, aka Ignifex, and reclaim her homeland. Things aren't as easy as she thought they would be. Ignifex is charming in a dangerous sort of way that she finds enchanting. She also befriends a shade-like shadow that helps her through the castle. And from here the story gets interesting. 

I couldn't help but wonder who the shade was? Can Ignifex really be trusted?  What's the deal with the town? All these questions and more kept me turning the page to find out more. So as far the story line goes, I liked it. I also like that Nyx was not your typical "damsel in distress." Her emotions were all over the place, but understandably. I also like Ignifex and Nyx together. I know he's the bad guy, but he draws you in and you want him to succeed. 

Overall, I like this story. The cross between Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology really complimented each other. The story is fast moving and enchanting. Very entertaining! 

My rating:
3.5 but I'll round up to 4


  1. This sounds like such an interesting read! x

    1. It is! If you read it, let me know what you think. :)

  2. I usually like retellings, but this one I couldn't get into, and I'm a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast. But in reading this I think I realized that I need to stick to one "type" of retelling at a time. The mixing of fairy tale an mythology just didn't work for me.

    1. It was a bit different than most of the retellings that I've read. I did like it, though Nyx's character took some getting used to for me. Do you have a favorite retelling?


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