Cruel Beauty Review

Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Book Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Source: Physical copy, Goodreads 
Review: 4/5 *Full Review Below.

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.

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast? Here’s a book you cannot like, with its detailed background on greek mythology (big fan!) and a dark romance at it’s core. I love love love re-telling’s of old classic stories, Beauty & the Beast is pretty high on my list, so as soon as I seen the blurb I knew I had to have it!

This book is not your typical fairytale but much much darker. It begins with Nyx’s father making a bargain with the Gentle Lord, as always these bargains are never straightforward and always come at a price. The price is his daughter Nyx, she is now a sacrifice and must marry the Gentle Lord Ignifex in order for his other daughter to live a normal life. Ignifex is immortal and has had many wives before and all of them have died, creepy! However Nyx doesn’t intend to die, her father has trained her since she was little to seduce and kill the wicked beast.

Nyx is a wonderful protagonist, she’s like many others I’ve read about; strong-willed, defiant and brave but she’s also bitter, jealous, vicious and a little bit evil herself. Ignifex on the other hand was charming and hilarious, no doubt his mischievous deals have cost half the town their lives but I love a witty villain and as you soon find out things aren’t always as evil as they seem. His castle is just as mysterious as he is, with dark creepy shadows lurking behind locked doors.

The book is quite odd and confusing, it’s a mix of everything and I’m surprised at how well it worked. I loved the greek mythology mixed in although in my opinion there was a bit too much of it and trying to stay on top of it all was a bit of a challenge. The book is heavily packed with folklore, fairy tales, epic world building and crazy mysteries that create a bit of a mess that just gets better and better and will have you mind-boggled long after reading it.

Oh and the ending? Still not 100% sure on what actually happened, I’ve spoken to other people who have read the book and everyone has different views. However Hodge has managed to create a completely unique twist on a classic full of rich detail, dynamic characters and so many new complex words to learn. Overall this book will leave you confused with more questions than answers and maybe a headache but it is beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable to read.

I would recommend this book to fans of Beauty & the Beast, dark fantasy and anyone who enjoys an unpredictable book that will leave you wanting more.

“I do like a wife with a little malice in her heart."

Note: If you like Beauty & the Beast check out A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I'm doing a cover reveal on it even though it's already been announced I'm just so damn excited for it, it's bound to be the best retelling ever! 

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1 comment:

  1. It was quite surprising but I think the characters were hard to relate even if I really like that Nyx had defaults and recognized she had them. I really like better the side story : the Cinderella retelling. But it's a bit sad that the ending of this novel made the side story impossible.


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