Cruel Beauty: Review

cruel beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Fairytale Retelling

Summary: 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. (Via Goodreads)


Let me preface this by saying that Cruel Beauty has been on my TBR list for like ever! And I finally got it for Christmas so of course I just tore into it and I was not disappointed.

Cruel Beauty is a wonderful mix of fairytale and mythology which at first seemed a bit odd to me but it actually melded together extremely well and made for a very compelling, well told story and interesting world that I would very much like to visit again.

The characters too are sublime especially the main character of Nyx. She is quite dark; poisonous and resentful and made for such interesting reading and while she wasn’t written to be likeable I simply adored her. It was so enjoyable to read about her and watch how she struggles between what she was chosen to do, her resentment and her own desires and ugh it was just so, so good. I would recommend reading it just for her.

The supporting characters are also quite interesting – Nyx’s family in particular and how cold and calculating they are and I would love to have read more about them.

The story itself is quite interesting and it’s definitely an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast but alas it is quite predictable – but it in no way distracted from my enjoyment of the book or the story. The ending in my opinion was a little weak but overall it was a fantastic book and I would recommend it.

4 Stars.


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