Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Title: Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe)
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Release Date/Publisher: Published January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Borrowed: Trade Paperback (342 pages)
Finished: July 12th 2014
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
- Cruel Beauty
- Gilded Ashes
Synopsis from GoodReads:
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.
I’m not really into books based in the older times but after reading reviews, I thought I might like this. It started off slow up until about one-third of the book and I ended up really enjoying it, even though I took my sweet time reading it. I really liked the design used for each chapter page because it was pretty and stood out. This was a really fresh and fun way of going about an old fairytale; the author did a great job in retelling it in a unique and interesting way.
Nyx is spiteful, bitter and has a really bad temper with screaming fits where she hits and throws things, but most of all; she’s really confused. She wants to be accepted and loved by her family who she loved (only because it was her duty) but in reality, she hates her sister so much and blames her for everything. Her sister Astraia is coddled and loved by her father which makes her selfish, delusional, weak (she gets hurt easily by Nyx’s venomous words but forgives and forgets right away) and she lives in her own world. Her dad is an emotionless dick, who doesn’t show Nyx any love or affection because he wants her to be tough. Her aunt is another cold person in her life who’s very controlling of her.
Before going off to marry (in an awesome customary red wedding dress) the statue representing her husband the “Gentle Lord” (as they call him for some reason), her father acts cold and uncaring with his goodbye and leaves her to fend for herself. She is prepared for war when she arrives at the castle but finds a husband with a surprisingly humourous personality, who quickly seems to trust her and wants to be taken care of. He has demon wings that open up as smoke and shadow and he tells her to call him Ignifex until she can guess his name which if she can’t, will determines what happen to her. She explores the house at night because Ignifex doesn’t like the dark, which is one of his many mysteries. We meet Shade, who’s basically a shadow and Ignifex’s slave, who does everything he tells him to do; like reinforcing the rules on Nyx. He’s extremely complicated and she’s interested in him right away but Ignifex hates him because he thinks he’s a coward who disobeys him.
One big aspect of this story that confused me, is the whole “hermetic” thing. Some lamps are powered by it and the entire house is run on it. Otherwise, many things are kept secret like in the beginning she can’t focus on some books and then realizes there are holes and burns made in some for some odd reason…
It was a relief when they (Nyx and Ignifex) finally admitted they love each other and he fully put his trust and faith in her. Things take a lot of twists and turns near the end and people from the beginning of the story are very different than what I thought. Nyx’s loyalty is tested many times and there are many parts where I felt like crying because it was sad. The entire story changes all of a sudden and the ending was beautiful and perfect for this book. It wasn’t overly sappy but it was some form of happiness and after all the heartache, confusion and hostility, I think this book deserved it.
Posted on October 28, 2014, in Reviews and tagged Book, Cruel Beauty, Demons, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling, Review, Romance, Rosamund Hodge, Young Adult. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.