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.