Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Copy was received in exchange for an 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.
More than likely, if you're reading this then you're probably already familiar with this debut title from author Rosamund Hodge. This novel began causing quite a stir once pictures of ARCs started popping up on the inter-webs so naturally, I was curious as to what was getting people so excited. As I mentioned in my book haul video (which if you haven't seen it, you can check it out here) Cruel Beauty is based on Beauty and the Beast......And if you didn't know, I LOVE Beauty and the Beast! However don't be strayed away if Belle and the Beast's story isn't your favourite fairy-tale because Cruel Beauty is its own original piece.
Unlike Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty tells a story including Greek mythology. Not only did this work well for this book, but it also made it a little darker.....and let me tell you, this book is dark. Much like the book's cover, you'll start walking down a staircase and find yourself helplessly spiraling down into the world Rosamund Hodge has created.
As a female, I like reading about strong females, and Cruel Beauty is not without one of those. Our main character, Nyx, has always known it was her duty to marry the immortal named Ignifex and find a way to kill him....but little did she expect to actually start falling for him. Nyx embodied so many traits I love reading in characters; she's fierce, witty, brave, angry, strong and a firecracker. It was always difficult anticipating how she would react to certain situations and I loved that unpredictable aspect of her character.
No news here, but I was specifically intrigued to see how this romance between Nyx and the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, was going to play out. I can honestly say their romance wasn't a typical light and fluffy connection. Nyx's fire and determination, combined with Ignifex's unexpected sense of humour and deadly ways, resulted in a romance I can only describe as twisted. I found their relationship to develop a tad on the speedy side, making it hard to really invest in them (especially when there's another character introduced that I kept questioning if he was supposed to be some love triangle figure). However, I loved how dark the romance was as a result of their tension between lust and threatening to kill one another.....it made their chemistry thoroughly entertaining.
“You deserve all that and more. It made me happy to see you suffer. I would do it all over again if I could." I realized I was shaking as the words tumbled out of me. "I would do it again and again. Every night I would torment you and laugh. Do you understand? You are never safe with me." I drew a shuddering breath, trying to will away the sting of tears.
He opened his eyes and stared up at me as if I were the door out of Arcadia and back to the true sky. "That's what makes you my favorite." He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. "Every wicked bit of you.”
Overall, Cruel Beauty was definitely not what I expected. If your looking for something that is both dark and unique, then this is the book for you! Have you read Cruel Beauty? What did you think about the romance aspect of this novel? Be sure to let me know in the comments below! Keep Reading!
Your Y.A. Bookworm,