I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Genres: Mythology, YA
Published by HarperTeen Pages: 352
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Also by this author: Crimson Bound
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 is the debut novel for author Rosemund Hodge and although I didn’t find it to meet my expectations I did find parts of it interesting.
It gets off to a very slow start with Nyx getting ready to go and marry the Gentle Lord. I couldn’t figure out why he was called the Gentle Lord when he ruined people with his bargains. Nyx was raised to hate the Gentle Lord and to kill him. Her father made a bargain and she was the price of that bargain. She resents her family for making her have to be a sacrifice to save Arcadia.
For the most part Nyx just irritates me because she is sort of whiny. I mean I get that she has been raised to kill the Gentle Lord and her sister has been loved. I just felt like the story tries to pound that into you way to much and that gets boring. Nyx does seem to have a little bit more spunk than the previous wives because Ignifex actually seems to like her. It’s because of her wicked heart that he likes her, but who wouldn’t have a bit of hate in their heart when you were raised to hate.
This story has a most unusual love triangle of sorts as Nyx thinks likes Shade, who takes on the appearance of Ignifex at night while in the morning he is a shadow. Nyx also finds herself falling for Ignifex even though she knows he is evil and should be killed. It’s towards the middle of the book that you get to the main love story between Nyx and Ignifex.
Although it is a little bit like a greek mythological version of Beauty and the Beast it also has a bit of Rumpelstiltskin in it as well. Towards the end I started getting a little confused on what what was happening but over all the ending was nice. I can’t say that I hated this story because it really did have an interesting take on B&B, but I didn’t love it either. The pacing at times was to slow for me and the repetitiveness that went throughout it made the story drag in places.
I have seen a lot of reviews on this book and I can see why some loved it and I can also see what some hated it. For me though it was just okay and I will check out the Cinderalla enovella that is centered in the same world as Cruel Beauty and give the author another chance.