by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balzer + Bray Release date : January 28th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Source: The Publisher | Format: eARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible • The Book Depository
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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.
I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
We all have those books that blow us away. That render us speechless, leaving us amazed by its sheer beauty and wondering how you will EVER be able to give it justice. I myself, have had quite a few over this past year. My reviews were flails and feels. My coherence was non-existent. And….This is where I am right now with Cruel Beauty.
Cruel Beauty is an original, fascinating retelling of Beauty of the Beast, mixed with a lot of fantasy and mythology elements. Retellings are always a hit or miss, as I am sure most of you can agree. Someone can take an original story and really make it their own, while others, completely botch it. Cruel Beauty was a hit. It is an imaginative, beautiful and is in no way, lacking in originality, that’s for sure. I honestly haven’t read a book like this. Ever. It’s dark. Mysterious. Fascinating and so, so good you guys.
I love Rosamund’s style. Although there were times I felt like I was sinking in info dump, because the terminology was hard to follow, especially in the beginning. It’s very detailed and overwhelming and takes a little bit of time to get into the groove of things, but once you do.. You will be blow away.
My favorite characters are the ones that are flawed. That have more issues and really make you feel. Whether it be FOR them or just in general, overall. And friends, Nyx is just that. She is such a strong-willed, frustrating yet loving character. She is angry, bitter and holds a lot of hate in her heart. (But hell, who wouldn’t?) Being raised as the one that would destroy the Gentle Lord, she knew her duty and knew what was at stake should she fail. Yet.. Yet, she has underlining defiance regarding that as well. She makes (several) mistakes but she owns up to them. She was just so real and honestly, one of the most genuine protagonist I have read in a long time. There were times I wanted to just scream at her in frustration though. AHH.
This brings us to Ignifex. He was such compelling and complex character. He honestly was hard for me to get a FULL read on, that’s how confused I was about this guy. I never really HATED him but there were times I seriously wanted to punch him in the face. I was taking his side and then switching as often, if not more, than Nyx herself. He has a very interesting back story and learning about what he does and why he does it, was one of my favorite aspects of the novel.
I won’t go into too many details about the romance. I loved it and want to GUSH about it. The banter, the wit and just.. AH. But there are things that you just need to read, on your own, without knowing much or ANYTHING about it. So there. 😛
My Peeve- Aside from the few info dumps, I can’t find anything else that irritated me about this book.
Overall- I am wholeheartedly in love with this book. Seriously. Cruel Beauty will fascinate you with its beauty, uniqueness and compelling and complex characters that are so utterly believable and real. Rosamund Hodge is an author to watch and I will definitely be on the watch for more. I highly recommend this and I will definitely be buying this for my shelf.