Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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Book Title:  Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: I got this e-ARC from Balzer & Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Okay, the first thing you need to know is that whoever did the marketing on this book was incorrect. This is not Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast, it’s Greek Mythology & Beauty and the Beast. The other thing you need to know right off the bat is that is slow in the beginning and there is a ton of info-dump, but please stick with it as it’s one crazy ride.

I absolutely love Greek Mythology and while I know a lot of people thought that the addition of Greek Mythology turned the book a bit pretentious, I didn’t I loved the addition of Greek Mythology. It took me back to 5th grade when I studied it and I tested myself throughout the book to see how much of it, I remembered.

Nyx knows that she is to be married to the Gentle Lord as soon as she is old enough. That was the bargain that her father made to him prior to her birth. She has never had a choice in the matter. She has resented her sister for being the favored one. She resents her father for not trying to save her from this fate.

Yet she has a plan. She plans to seduce the Gentle Lord, destroy his castle and free her people from the 900 year old curse that has been upon them.Yet no where in her plan did she expect to fall for Ignifex, the Dark Lord. She also never expected to meet Shade. Shade has more secrets than Nyx realizes. Shade is even more mysterious than Ignifex is. 

In a book like this, you worry that so much effort and energy will go into the world building and that the character development will suffer. You’ll be happy to know that it doesn’t. The main characters are all fleshed out nicely and even the secondary characters are fleshed out nicely which was really nice to see.

For the first half of the book I was Team Shade. He was sweet and kind and clearly Nyx was interested in that. I think she was attracted to Shade not just because of his looks, but because for the first time, someone was kind to her and he valued her. My love affair with Ignifex didn’t start until I was about 55% of the way into the book. 

Before I knew it, I was swept up in Ignifex’s clutches. He was much like Nyx. He was a prisoner in this castle much like herself. Yet somehow these two managed to fall in love. Before I knew it, I was rooting for them. Big time and my love of Shade was forgotten.

I am giving this book 4 stars mostly because the ending massively confused me. Maybe it was because I was up until all hours reading it, I’m not sure but overall it was really good and I would totally recommend this book to people who love Greek Mythology and or Beauty and the Beast.

4 comments on “Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

  1. Tori Davis says:

    Oh my god, I need to read this book! Everyone talks about it and I just–sigh–need to read it asap. Literally. Oh my gosh. I hate to admit that I'm super jealous that you got an ARC. I wanted one so bad but I was too late in requesting 😦

    This book sounds so interesting, and I can't wait for its release tomorrow! I don't think I'll be buying it since I'm broke, but as soon as I get money, I am so on top of this book. It's gorgeous.

    T from YA Book Queens

    Like

  2. Tori, I am totally going to be buying a finished copy of this one. The cover is absolutely gorgeous in pictures and I admit to feeling jealous of those who got a physical ARC of it.

    Definitely buy it when you can though.

    Like

  3. I totally agree with you about the marketing. Heck, I kind of wish they wouldn't have called it a B&B retelling because it took some of the suspense out of how it would ultimately end. I loved it though. Great review! 🙂

    Like

  4. Christy this book was hard as heck to review,but I am so glad that I read it. It was insane but so fascinating. It actually made me want to watch B&B again.

    Like

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