Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4.5 STARS
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.
First: Cover rant because this review will just not do without one. This cover is tooo pretty guys :o I love how the rose is incorporated into the cover and how it all connects to the story. And the title font is so nice and fancy. If I saw this book at a bookstore I would probably just buy it to stare and pet it. BUT there is another marvelous reason as to why Cruel Beauty should be on your shelf and that is that this book was mind blowingly amazing. After reading this book, I was full of feels and my brain and heart were in a frenzy.
I love Rosamund Hodge's writing style, albeit it is normal but the way she can make the story really come alive in my head made it fun to read. The story line itself was very cool. I've been seeing quite a few fairy tail retellings and so far a lot of authors have come far from disappointing. All the new ways one good ole story could be interpreted or retold was awesome. This is the first Beauty and the Beast retelling I've read and it made me love the story even more although I love this interpretation way more. One of my favorite aspects about this book was the use of Hermetic magic. I've head of the concept in my history class but this book made me want to do a whole research study on them which I probably will end up doing. I do wish some of the hermetic magic stuff was explained more thoroughly because there were points where I was confused and wasn't exactly sure how it worked.
The characters in this book made me so emotionally invested in this story especially Ignifex. I expected me to hate him for the majority of the book but well...that turned awry. He charmed me just as much as he charmed Nyx but in my defense he was a hot, intriguing, and charismatic that you couldn't help but fall in love with him. Especially when you see the soft and weaker side of him, he's just too adorable D: I felt for him so many times throughout the story. Nyx was a pretty cool character, I liked how determined she was and how real and true her emotions were. She wasn't willing to give up and that gave her a sense of strength. I had mixed feelings about Shade, not necessarily a bad thing. There really isn't one emotion that could pinpoint my feelings for him.
I do feel like the end and climax was a bit of a rush that it was a lot for me as a reader to take on. It took me a while to wrap my head on the whole idea what just happened. It would have helped if things were clarified to help gain a better understanding of what went on. All in all though, Cruel Beauty is most definitely not a story you want to miss out on. This is one for all you fantasy, romance, and re-telling lovers. But I really do recommend this to everyone to at least check out. Happy Readings!