Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: Amazon ● The Book Depository

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 don't think that it's a surprise to anyone why I was desperate to get my hands on this book. I mean, that cover? Hands down, one of the best I've ever seen. I'd also heard interesting things about Cruel Beauty, and was over the moon when it popped up as an eGalley. I was definitely not disappointed with this one. It was so beautiful– the writing is absolutely stunning. It was a little confusing at the start, but then things started to clear up a little, it was harmonious blend of words and myth. I loved the the mix of Greek mythology and "Beauty and the Beast". It's like fantasy met paranormal and created this gorgeous novel that bound me to it's pages.

Before reading I was a little bit curious about what the book was actually about and so I went right ahead and read some reviews. I've heard people complain about Nyx, and I totally get it. She is really whiny and capricious with her opinions. It's sometimes a little overboard and makes you want to stab yourself with a fork (if you read the book you'll get the reference), and she was too childish at times. On the other hand, I did enjoy her snark and sarcasm, and loved that she was a little bit poisonous with her words. 
I LOVED Ignifex. From the start, I fell head over heels. Maybe I'm a bit of a sucker for guys in YA (okay, I am), but I was rooting for him the whole way through the book. Shade was a fascinating character. I thought this was going to be a love triangle, and was a bit worried to begin with, because it seems like it for roughly half the book (or even more). Eventually things do clear up, and it's an interesting turn of events for sure.

The plot twists a little during the book and becomes a little bit confusing. It was also perplexing with all the Greek myths coming together AND the lore of the gods AND the world building, so you can imagine it was quite the pile of things the reader has to tackle. I think at parts it got a little bit too much for me to handle and got me lost. I still loved the book, it's just that some bits, names and places had me at "what?".
This was different from many YA books for several different reasons, but what I found most interesting was that you don't tend to see characters get married. NA? Possibly. YA? Quite rarely. It was a weird change to experience in young adult fiction, but nonetheless still an intriguing one. 

I consumed Cruel Beauty in one day and have no regrets. It was gorgeous, spellbinding and deliciously dark. Rosamund Hodge's debut is magical, and breaks the boundaries between genres that creates a piece that is diverse and whole. A seductive ride that will have readers enthralled from start to finish. I'm looking forward to more novels set in this world!

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  1. Hmm, sounds pretty interesting! We had only heard the title and seen the cover but didn't know what this was about until now. Thanks for letting us know, and for sharing your thoughts. Might pick this one up after all!

  2. I completely agree with you, this book started off quite confusing, but it all fit together so beautifully and spell-binding, definitely not one you put down too many times. I loved that Nyx, while doing and saying some questionable things, was so easy to relate to, great review!


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