Cruel Beauty was really something. Both a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and having Greek mythology, it was an explosive combination. I will tell you this right now, whatever you are expecting from this book is DEAD wrong! I had so many theories while reading, and next to none of them happened exactly how I thought it out. There are hints that could go so many different ways, it's insane!
The main character is Nyx. She is in no way shape or form a perfect person. And she knows that. She has a slightly irrational hate for her younger sister, and she has wicked in her heart. She admits that on page one. Her family though, with the slight exception of her twin sister, can all just poof. I hated their characters (in a good way) like the plague. Seriously, just die people! Nyx definitely goes through some changes in this book. She learns how to accept the people around her, and what it means to love. There's also Ignifex, AKA the beast. His character changes so much of the course of the book, it's amazing to watch. Also, there were lots of swoons where he's concerned. Knowing the story Beauty and the Beast will help with some plot points, but it does deviate as well.
The end! The end! I did not see it coming from a mile away. There was a lot of quick flipping of pages late into the night to see how it was going to end. The way the story ended, it could actually stand alone, but I REALLY want more! The characters got their story, but more is always appreciated. At some points, things got a little confusing. Like, whoa, where'd this come from? But it always made sense at some later point in the plot. The action was intense, the romance scorching, and the characters deep. They weren't your typical fairy tale heroes and heroins, they were so much more. Cruel Beauty is a beautiful retelling that isn't letting me out of it's grasp. A full five stars for sure!
Brilliant, riveting, and beautiful is how I would describe Cruel Beauty. Rosamund Hodge has created an amazingly wonderful story of love, mystery, duty, and myth.
Nyx’s father made a deal with the devil so to speak and for it she must bear the consequences. On her seventeenth birthday she will marry the prince of demons, the immortal creature who has imprisoned her kingdom. Since childhood she has been trained to kill Ignifex and she loathes that she will have to be near him. She feels a duty to her kingdom, jealousy toward her sister, and animosity for her aunt and father. Once married and trapped in Ignifex’s house she learns that there is more to Ignifex and the curse that holds her kingdom trapped.
Cruel Beauty has mystery, emotion, a charming male lead, a strong heroine, and witty moments that made me devour it. I read this novel in no time at all and although I predicted Ignifex’s mystery early on I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was interesting but it was the characters that drew me in and held me. Ignifex was charming and funny. I loved how he played with Nyx and at times he was like a sad little puppy that I just wanted to hold. Nyx was a great heroine, she could easily exchange banter with Ignifex, and her determination kept the story moving. The emotions of duty, hate and love that Nyx felt were raw and true. I thought that if I were in her shoes I would find myself feeling as she did. I liked how Nyx gradually changes through the book. Her change is slow as is her falling in love with Ignifex and I liked that because it felt more genuine.
Overall Cruel Beauty is one of my favorite retellings of an old tale; beauty and the beast. It’s fresh, cute, funny, and a little dark at times. The last few page confused me a little, it took a moment for me to realize what was happening. Even though the ending sequence is a bit confusing I think the conclusion is perfect for the characters.
Cruel Beauty has been on my wishlist since the moment I read the blurb. You see, I wad one of those kids who had a ton of Beauty and the Beast coloring books, stickers and wore Belle pajamas, so and when my friend Glass offered me a chance to read the ARC with her I just couldn`t pass the opportunity. Gosh! And look at that beautiful cover.
The first thing you need to know about this book is that Rosemund Hodge created her own spin on BatB with weaving a breathtaking fairytale with a splash of Greek mythology thrown in there. This alone should be enough to capture your attention.
Nyx's father has been training her to marry and one day kill a powerful immortal Ignifex who's been striking bargains with mortals for ages. In one of these bargains Nyx's mother died after delivering Nyx and her twin sister into this world. Nyx doesn't have a great relationship with her father because he never cared for her like other fathers do. She's glad to be rid of him even though she's forced to live with a demon until one of them died. She is convinced Ignifex is a devil with the angel's body ans she will do whatever it takes to destroy him. But what if there's something more to this story? What if Ignifex in fact isn't the bad guy?
The best thing about this book is the colorful description of the castle. The never ending staircase leading to Nyx's room, dark bedrooms, the dining hall, the ball room which lights up with water at night, the garden and that field. Just beautiful. Oh I don't think I've ever been in love with the portrayal of a house/castle so much I wanted to move there, but only if Ignifex would be kind enough to proviide me with a wifi connection.
I would recommend it to readers who enjoy exploring fairytales with a mythology variation. Don't miss this incredible debut novel!