Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Pubilcation Date: January 28th 2014
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Magic, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
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.
A Beauty and the Beast retelling, with Greek mythology, and magic? IS IT POSSIBLE TO NOT BE EXCITED? You know how much I love fairytale retellings, and this is definitely one of the best. What a beautifully unexpected and spellbinding adventure. Anissa approves, much approves.
I get such a special kind of kick when I read fairytale retellings. I loves them. So, I’d better tell you now: this review is full of gushing and all the fangirling, because I can’t help but get violently excited when I love a book this much. (I feel like I’m always writing warnings of my excitement in my reviews – hmm).
“Where you go, I shall go; where you die, I shall die, and there will I be buried.”
The story was beautiful, unique, and well written – there were a few plot holes that had me a bit confused, and the first couple of chapters were a bit slow and lacked dialogue, but that quickly picked up. I’ve never read any of Rosamund Hodge’s books before this, but I’ll certainly read all of her others after this. She has quickly become one my new favourite authors, and I love finding new favourite authors (I love a lot today, apparently).
Cruel Beauty is set in Arcadia, a land with a paper sky, and demons that come out at night. There’s a lot of world building, and a lot of references to Greek mythology, which I LOVED, even if I didn’t know all the references. But OMG the quotes are to die for, somebody please hold my hand.
“You fought and fought to keep all the cruelty locked up in your head, and for what? None of them ever loved you, because none of them ever knew you”
The book starts off with a lot of angst (understandably), and our main character, Nyx, is hot-headed. I loved Nyx; it was incredibly refreshing to have a YA heroine like her. She was harsh and strong. She didn’t always filter what she said and she didn’t make excuses for the wickedness in her. We aren’t all Saints, and we all have our demons, after all (I’m sounding a little bit ominous there, aren’t I?).
“That’s what makes you my favourite.” He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. “Every wicked bit of you”.
HOW BEAUTIFUL WAS THAT QUOTE? My heart of ice might just have melted. Read the full quote in here, if you dare: View Spoiler »“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 realised 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 favourite.” He reached up and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. “Every wicked bit of you”.
Nobody had ever looked at me like that, and certainly not after seeing the poison I kept locked inside. « Hide Spoiler
I absolutely detested Astraia, Nyx’s sister; if she wasn’t weak and pathetic I thought she was manipulative and cruel. Don’t even get me started on Nyx’s father. I would so Avada Kedabra him. ANYWAYS, I have more important things to talk about. *evil grin*
There is a sort of “love triangle” in this book, but it’s not really. In the mansion, Nyx meets Shade, a shadow, and Ignifex, the beast that Nyx is married off to. Shade was quite a bland character for me. How awesome are all the names in this book, by the way? I loved them all.
“But you know what you are, and what you deserve. You lie to me but not to yourself. That’s why I love you.”
Although Ignifex wasn’t beastly in his appearance, apart from his eyes, he did do evil deeds. He was so incredibly hilarious and intelligent, I loved the repartee between him and Nyx. I SHIP THEM SO HARD. So many heart-melting moments, and laugh out loud conversations. He is definitely one of my favourites, because we all know I love villains with a heart of gold. View Spoiler »I did find it a bit strange that Nyx was changing her mind between the two every night, but I guess it’s because they’re the same person? MEH, I who am I kidding, I don’t even care – it was smashing! I’m not even sorry. 😛 « Hide Spoiler
The story was restless. It was playful, and Nyx was cheeky. There wasn’t a moment where she wasn’t up to something. I loved reading about all the different rooms and the keys she was stealing. All in all, this was a fantastic read and definitely not one to be missed!
|Overall:||4.2 / 5|