Series: Cruel Beauty Universe, #1
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Category: Paranormal/ Fantasy/ Romance
Genre: New Adult
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
Cruel Beauty was definitely not what I was expecting at all. And I absolutely loved that! The author took on quite a different version of Beauty and the Beast. I did have a picture as to how, maybe, the story would play out. Well, I did not expect the story to play out as it did. That, I believe, made the story so much fun; made it one I really did enjoy.
I think the world that the author created was by far the most unique thing. I loved how she wove bits and pieces of the original Beauty and the Beast story into her novel, yet turned everything else upside down! The world within this book is quite exceptional. Interwoven ancient myths, gods, and goddess also play an intricate part in this book, along with more magical elements. Each factor was interesting and pulled me in.
"He is a monster, I said. Maybe I'm a monster to pity him"
The characters, each one, I really loved meeting. Nyx was raised to be the one to slay the beast or in this world the Demon Lord. What I enjoyed so much about her character is her faults. She isn't a perfect character and that was a big thing in the book. It’s what made Nyx feel more connectable with, even though this story is such a fantasy read. But despite her faults, she’s a very determined character. And I love determined characters!
Oh, don’t even get me started on Ignifex. I guess I can say he is a bit of a complicated character. Like Beast from the original tale, he isn't what he seems. I think that’s what I enjoyed learning about Ignifex. The mystery woven around his character is deep and very fascinating. Plus, despite everything, he really was a good character. And he loved despite faults; that’s what made me enjoy him so much.
The mystery of the book was very intense and very intricate. And the twists and plot building left me a bit breathless. I wasn't sure where the story was heading, and I loved that. It’s very rare from me to not be able to guess most aspects, or turn of events, in a book. Though I did figure out some things, I enjoyed the story and the mystery. The world was just so odd and yet very creative. Rosamund did a unique job at making this world her very own.
"They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.But now I knew that every mad word was true."
Her writing, description, and style was something I enjoyed. It pulled me in and I was able to visually see the world she built, the characters, the mystery, the magical elements. And the story flowed at a nice pace. Though I did feel that some aspects of the book were a bit rushed, but it didn't take from the overall story.
Watching Nyx slowly uncover the world of Ignifex, and slowly fall in love with him, was intense. And I loved the challenges she faced, the conflicts she had to overcome. She was made to choose on how to save her world and I could feel how hard that was for her. It was pretty hard for me too, as the reader. And I loved watching her and Ignifew grow. Their character growth was slow, but there. At the end of the book I really liked who they were, faults and all.
This was definitely a unique, odd, take on Beauty and the Beast. I enjoyed that uniqueness, and the way the author told her story. It pulled me in right from the beginning and took me on one interesting adventure. I do recommend Cruel Beauty to those who loved Beauty and the Beast, but want a very different take on the story.