Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by: Rosamund Hodge

Release Date: January 28, 2014
from Balzer & Bray
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Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.

"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."

My Thoughts:

The moment I finished this book I wanted to go back to the beginning and start it all over again, that is how much I loved this book. Beauty and the Beast is, to this day, my favorite movie. I can quote it beginning to end, so going into this I had extremely high hopes and expectations. Not only were those expectations met, but they were blown out of the water. I don’t even know how to put into words how much I loved this book. 

I guess I’ll start with our heroine Nyx. I really loved her because she was believable. She has been raised her whole life to defeat this evil demon. While most stories would portray the heroine as selfless and determined, Nyx is a bit different. Yes, she is resigned to her duty and feels it needs to be done, but she isn’t exactly happy about it and it shows. She doesn’t think it’s fair and she resent it and resents her family for it as well. I kind of loved that because who wouldn’t resent her situation. But while she resents it, she is still determined to do what she thinks is necessary. I also loved her because she made decisions that were bigger than herself and what she wanted. But she was also smart and thought things through. When new facts came to light, she took them into account. She wasn’t the nicest heroine, but she is one of my favorites. 

Ignifex is also not your normal love interest, but that didn’t stop me from loving him. His past is dark and twisted and it is pulled apart piece by piece. He was so darkly charming and I just loved it. We all know I have a soft spot for the bad boys and he is definitiely a bad boy. I can’t say I agree with all of his actions, but they didn’t stop me from falling for him. What that says about me I’m not sure, but I’m not going to look at it too closely. 

Cruel Beauty took my favorite fairy tale in Beauty and the Beast and meshed it with another favorite of mine; Greek mythology. I loved this mix and it was such a great twist to my favorite fairy tale. I don’t want to say too much else because this story is unraveled very slowly and I loved pulling apart each and every piece. 

I also love this story because it took me by surprise. I never saw the ending coming. I guessed and I came close and then I doubted myself and brushed it off because I just couldn’t put my finger on it. While I did come close, I never fully got it and then the ending completely floored me because I never thought what happened would happen. 

Nyx and Ignifex work great together because both of them have their faults and they know it. They also love each other knowing those faults and accepting them. They don’t hide their more wicked sides from one another and there is something beautiful in the way they love each other.

Now I haven’t talked about this yet because I don’t want to detract from the story, but I have to. That cover is stunning. It is one of my favorite covers in the history of forever. It’s just so beautiful AND it fits the story so well! 

Cruel Beauty has secured its spot as one of my favorite books ever. It was such a wonderful fantasy journey with a beautiful romance and a plot that is pulled apart slowly and wonderfully. I loved this book so much and I just want to make everyone I know read it. It is a beautiful story that lives up to the wonderful cover and to my stupidly high expectations.


  1. Yes, this one took me completely by surprise. it took me a bit for me to love Nyx, but she is so real and believable

  2. Great review!! Makes me even more excited to get to it!! I love how this one just seems so different and doesn't really follow the normal reading buildup or character design! I love how both the characters sound, and they have such unique names!! AHHHHH!!! TERESA!! I wanna read this one soooo bad now!!!! XD
    And I love the cover, too!!


  3. Great review! I definitely need to read this, I have seen so many excellent reviews for it. I love Beauty and the Beast too!

  4. OOooh very nice review!! I am soooo very eager for this one! I was shot down multiple times by Edelweiss for even daring to request this one multiple times! But at least now the wait is nearly over! I just have to make sure I preorder it soon! I love Beauty & the Beast, fairy tales, their retellings and of course Greek Mythology so this sounds like the perfect read for me!

    Great review!

  5. Nydia & Ignifex, such curious names & I am a fan of mash ups too!

  6. "The moment I finished this book I wanted to go back to the beginning and start it all over again, that is how much I loved this book. " THAT is how I know I've found an excellent book! I'm so glad you loved this B&tB retelling!

  7. Oh yay! I'm so glad you loved this Teresa. I am really excited to read it. It sounds unique and just fantastic! Wonderful review, dear!

  8. I've heard a lot about this book. And I've only just read your review, and I think it might be worth they hype :)

  9. Wonderful Review Teresa! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale too. I named my daughter after Belle! LOL Nyx sounds like such an awesome heroine! I like that she is not the typical passive, self sacrificing heroine. She sounds more realistic that way. I love a "darkly charming" bad boy as well. I can see why you want to reread this one!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  10. I've been waiting for your review of this because I know how much you loved this story! I'm even more excited to start this one than I already was. You mention so many great things that I adore about a book, and I have to agree that the cover is absolutely stunning! Brilliant review, Wifey *smoosh*

  11. Great review! I loved this story so much as well. You put in to words all of the reasons why I loved it so well. I can't wait to buy a physical copy when this comes out and reread it all over again.

  12. Oh wow, guess I need to read this one. Love Beauty and the Beast too. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  13. I keep hearing good things about this book and I do like how its a B&B retelling, you don't get a lot of that. And it has Greek mythology?! SOLD! Can't wait to read it. Great review Teresa!


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