Thursday, 3 July 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Source: Received an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 352 (Hardcover)

Description 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.
As soon as I read the description for Cruel Beauty I knew that I just had to read it. I have always loved Beauty and the Beast...and I'm definitely a self-proclaimed Disney junkie, so this book totally screamed "READ ME!!!" to me! Sure enough, as soon as I started Cruel Beauty I was hooked!! :D I loved the story, the characters, and the world-building was absolutely amazing. :D I was also pleasantly surprised to figure out that Rosamund Hodge blends mythology into the story of Beauty and the Beast, too, because I'm also a huge mythology fan...seriously, this book was perfect for me and it lived up to and greatly exceeded any expectations that I had for it!

While the main character, Nyx, isn't the most likeable character, she is incredibly easy to relate to. Who hasn't been jealous or angry because they felt they had been mistreated? My guess is that almost everyone has...I know I sure have! Nyx's situation is something that's pretty impossible to relate to, but it's still incredibly easy to sympathize with her. I think her fierceness also makes it hard to dislike her, even though she's quite abrasive. 

Ignifex, the "Beast" of this story, is another character who comes off as completely horrible, but he grows on you...boy, does he ever grow on you. At first, all you see is the monster that Nyx has heard of and known her entire life, but despite Ignifex's flaws (and he definitely has them), he is endearing and he has some great qualities...he also definitely cares about and trusts Nyx, which is a good and bad thing. :P I loved getting to see both Nyx and Ignifex let their guards down though, and seeing them grow closer was wonderful! You couldn't help but fall with them as their relationship changed, and I loved that! :D

Not only were the characters and story amazing, but so was the writing!!! I swear, Rosamund Hodge is a goddess herself because her writing was good enough for me to want to worship it! I cannot wait to read more of her work in the future because I found her writing to be fresh, addictive, and beautiful! was so, so, so good! :D

Overall, I absolutely LOVED Cruel Beauty! It's definitely one of my favourite reads in 2014 so far, and I have a very strong feeling that it's going to stay at the top of my faves list for the whole year! I'd recommend this one to fans of fairytales, mythology, and retellings! I also think if you love your love interests to be a bit on the dark side, and your heroines to be flawed that you'll love it, too! :D

Have you read Cruel Beauty yet?
If you haven' you want to?


  1. I picked up the audio of this from SYNC a few weeks ago, not really thinking much of it because I'm not usually super keen on really romance-heavy books... but wouldn't you know it, I ended up loving it!! It was just so engaging and intriguing. And I actually loved how flawed the characters were. I find I don't grow attached to characters who are basically perfect Mary Sues. But if they are flawed and realistic, I find that I can sympathize and relate to their situation more, like you say. So glad you loved this one too :) Really great thoughts!

    1. SYNC wouldn't let me download the audiobook for this one, but I'm glad you were able to! And I'm soooo glad you loved it, too!! :D It really was! I loved Rosamund Hodge's writing style, and yes, her characters were wonderful in their flawed way!! :D I didn't see them as too Mary Sue-ish, but their flaws were definitely what made them more appealing. :P haha Thanks!! :D


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