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Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


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.

My thoughts

Even though I didn’t like the romance in this book I got exactly what I expected which made me like this one a lot. With being a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast it is somewhat predictable but there are also lots of different aspects about the book that made up for insta-love and predictability.

On the one hand we have the typical YA paranormal love interest: He is supposed to be the bad guy, he is some paranormal creature and therefor quite old (in this case 900 years). It’s not only this predictable love story but it also comes with another love interest with whom this insta-love thing is even worse. If never read about a girl falling in love with someone THAT fast.
BUT: The Gentle Lord is a really interesting character and especially his background story but also some of the other characters made up for this. I usually don’t like stories that come with a love-triangle and insta-love but in this case it didn’t bother me in a way so that I couldn’t enjoy the story.

Ignifex, the Gentle Lord is not only a swoon worthy dark guy but he is actually pretty interesting. His past it rather fuzzy and I loved this big mystery around him that Nyx has to solve. I didn’t like the second guy in the picture but he still had something interesting about him too.
Once the love triangle dissolves it suddenly makes a whole lot of sense why it came to that in the first place. And there was something about this that was kind of mind blowing when revealed.

Even though I disliked the romance in principle there was always something to it that made me still enjoy the book.

What really made me enjoy this story a whole lot is the retelling and the world building. These are amazing. I only know the story about the Beauty and the Beast from the Disney movie and can’t compare it to the original story. From what I know Cruel Beauty had the significant aspects from the story in it, so that the overall story is predictable, but Rosamund Hodge put so many new things into it, changed a lot that it was still recognizable but more exciting and surprising which made me love this a lot. There was even some Greek mythology in here that made for a story that blew my mind.

I think when you know what you have to expect with this one you will enjoy it a whole lot. I myself had a great time reading it and I couldn’t put it down. A great take on The Beauty and the Beast with many new twists and turns, an epic background story and adorable, interesting characters who make it easy to condone insta-love and love triangle.

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  • hach dieses Cover ist einfach großartig! :D Lesen will ich es unbedingt, mal sehen, wann es dann so weit ist. Klar, dass es ein bisschen vorhersehbar ist, aber das ganze Liebesgedöns schreckt mich schon ein wenig ab, auch mit dem creepy old dude…900 Jahre? XD

    • Er ist ein Dämon, er weiß sich frisch zu halten XD
      (hast du das mal unter dem Umschlag gesehen? Das find ich eher nicht so schön XD)

      • Echt nicht? Ich find das eigentlich ganz cool mit der Rose.

        Ich kanns ja kaum erwarten, das endlich zu lesen. Ich lieeebe Beauty and the Beast :D (und ich hasse Lovetriangles – bin mal gespannt, wie ich damit klar kommen werde)! Da kommt dieses Jahr ja auch ein französischer Film raus (zu dem es endlich mal nen deutschen Trailer gibt, bisher hab ich immer nur jedes 20. Wort verstanden). Aber jetzt hat Cress erstmal Vorrang und davor muss Scarlet nochmal herhalten. Hab schon wieder alles vergessen. Aber dann!

      • Mir ist die Rose etwas zu kitschig :D
        Das Liebesdreieck wird echt super aufgeklärt, man kann also damit leben, so scheiße man sowas sonst auch findet! :D

      • Aber die Rose gehört doch dazu :D !
        Na, das klingt doch immerhin versöhnlich.

  • I’ve wanted to read this book for quite some time! Not only is the cover absolutely drool-worthy, the entire story within the cover compels me. Lately I’ve been looking for something, anything, that will renew my love for reading and remind me WHY I love reading so much. I just need something that really kicks my butt back into gear! I might check out either this book, or the Victoria Schwab books.

    Either way, great review! I really like the names Hodge gave her characters. Nyx? Awesome. Ignifex? Menacing with a touch of sexy. Sometimes I wonder where on earth authors compile their names, but I want to know where so I can get my hands on them!

    • Read The Archived!!!! I bet Wesley can help you get back into reading :D
      (Or maybe Chaol does once we read Crown of Midnight haha)

      Yes, agreed! Those names are amazing, especialky Ignifex. It fits him perfectly!

  • I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. This book sounds really intriguing. :) Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales.

    • Do you know the original fairytale? I want to read it really bad, especially now after this book, to see how much is from the original story.

  • Have been wanting to pick this book up since it circulated in the Blogosphere! I have heard great things about it, and I have only read a few negative reviews. I hope to pick up this book soon and I am glad you enjoyed it :)

    • I haven’t come across a single negative review yet! They were all at least 3 out of 5 stars which is weird. I would have thought that more people hate it because of the love triangle and instalove :D

Feb 19, 2014