Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Posted January 19, 2014 | 34 Comments

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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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.

When I first saw Cruel Beauty, I thought it sounded interesting and was curious about the Beauty and the Beast connection. Then when it came time to actually read it some months later, I suddenly became very hesitant and started regretting even getting the book. I’ll be honest, I came very close to DNF’ing it in the beginning. I kept zoning out and had to remind myself to focus, but promised to give it a chance at least until the main character met her betrothed. Am I ever glad I did! From that point on, it became a book I couldn’t put down.

Nyx is not some sweet and tender girl who finds herself at the mercy of a monster. No, she was raised to kill him, trained to do so from a young age. He is the demon who is responsible for the entrapment of Arcadia – her home – and the death of her mother. She is the one who will destroy him and set them all free. Even if it costs her own life.

I love Nyx. No, I mean I LOVE her! She’s fierce and has the wicked mean streak in her that I am always drawn to. Let’s just say the title of the book fits. And even though she puts on a smile for those around her, she is aware and honest with herself about how she feels.

“I think I’m wicked enough to love a demon”

Apparently demon lords are drawn to it too. Ignifex – Nyx’s dear husband – is a demon lord and bargains with people … for a price. The two of them together was absolutely delicious! The chemistry … the banter … was perfection. I can’t even tell you how much I loved it. The way she tried to manipulate him at times was funny, even more so how she would react when he didn’t play into it. Also, there appears to be a love-triangle for a little while, but I wasn’t worried about it at all. It was obvious what was going on with that, so I hesitate to even call it a love-triangle. It may seem a little weird, but actually makes perfect sense if you think about it. Once you read it, that is! View Spoiler »

What I also love is, how dark it was. It was dark, but in the most beautiful way. I mentioned how I started zoning out during the very beginning of the book, but I’m pretty sure it was because of me and not so much the book. There was more mythology infused in the story than I thought there would be. Now, I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just that I usually have that reaction to that kind of stuff at first, and then get used to it. But again, once I got past a certain point, I became completely fascinated. Plus, it tends to take me a little longer to adjust to the world-building in fantasies. So when both elements hit me at once right from the beginning, my brain wanted to shut-down. However, it turned out to be an absolutely wonderful mix.

I am so glad I stuck it out with Cruel Beauty, because I would’ve hated to miss out on it. I truly enjoyed it and was very happy with the ending. I won’t hesitate again to read a book by Rosamund Hodge.

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34 responses to “Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

  1. “What I also love is, how dark it was. It was dark, but in the most beautiful way.”

    YES!!! That’s what I loved about this one too Christy! And I was huge fan of Nyx, I found her to be largely unlikable but yet I was fascinated by her every minute she was on the page. I liked that we got to see the dark sides of both Ignifex and Nyx, and though the type of darkness they both possessed was very different, they were both so honest about who they were. Glad you stuck it out and gave this book another try after your rocky start!
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    • Christy

      I wasn’t expecting it to be that dark, no way am I gonna complain about that. Then the two of them together … perfect. 😀

    • Christy

      It wasn’t so much that it was slow, it just took me a little bit to adjust to certain elements of it. But it’s so dang good!

    • Christy

      Confused? About what? I’m confused about people being confused – lol. I’ve only read maybe 2 other reviews for it, so I don’t really know what the consensus is so far. Hope you love it too.

    • Christy

      It wasn’t really slow, it was just that it took me some time to warm up to the elements of the story. That didn’t last long, though. And yeah, sooooo worth it.

  2. Yay! So happy to hear this one turned around for you. I hate when I can’t get into a book’s beginning, but sometimes (not very often, mind you) if I keep going it does turn around for me too. I’m reading this one right now and really enjoying it so far! I hope I enjoy the ending as much as you did. Lovely review!
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  3. Cyn

    I like that Nyx wasn`t perfect. I also adored Ignifex haha. And yes the chemistry between them is awesome. Great review, glad you enjoyed this too!
    (here`s my review if you`re interested)

  4. Thank you for bringing another interesting read to my radar. I love dark stories, and this sounds like an awesome read!I just added to my wish list.
    Thanks, great job 🙂

  5. I am in the minority here. I wasn’t crazy about the book. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t in love with it either. Some of the twists were interesting, but it couldn’t push it into love territory for me. I really did like Nyx though. She is one of my favorite female characters that I’ve read in awhile. Enough so that I would read more books by Rosamund Hodge.
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  6. ruel beauty was so amazing! I loved Nyx with her wicked side, and her desires for revenge, one of best MC that I’ve ever read about. And Ignifex… WoW, I’m in love with this man. Their romance was so perfect…
    I’m a huge fan of retellings, and this one was a mixture of all my favourite fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin…) with some Greek mythology.
    I read the entire book in two days and I enjoyed every page.

    Great review!
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