Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
January 28, 2014
342 pages


Goodreads Summary:
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

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.


 
Review
 
Cruel Beauty was weird but in a positive way. The writing felt kind of disjointed at points however, there was something about this book that just held my attention. When I wasn't reading it, it was constantly in the back of my mind. I couldn't stop wondering what comes next.
 
My favourite thing about Cruel Beauty is the twist on the fairy tale. What interesting changes. I didn't know the story was going to be so heavily based on Greek mythology but that only made it better. I might even be a little proud that I understood most of it ;) Some parts were confusing but overall it was beautifully done.
 
Poor Nyx. I felt horrible for her. Having to grow up with the knowledge your father promised you away - to a monster too - to keep your sister safe. Of course she couldn't help with the dark thoughts about her twin, Astraia. As upsetting as that was, I couldn't wait to see how Nyx would go up against The Gentle Lord. I loved her little reflexes to protect herself, or rather to hurt him bahaha. It was sobering when she realized she had feelings for Ignifex. She was so torn up by it she spent most of her time feeling conflicted. Yet even I knew she was bound by duty to destroy him no matter their feelings for each other. No matter at what cost.

Ignifex was not at all what I imagined! Such a curious creature. I was expecting a moody sombre stubborn douchebag but instead, he was quite sophisticated. He knew of Nyx's motives and exactly what she was planning to do even before she made a move. Shade was interesting but too spoilery to discuss so let me just say, I called it. Not the exact details but I knew something was off about him and it didn't take me long to connect the dots.

I love how Nyx and Ignifex danced around each other. It was an intense game where she wouldn't back down and he wouldn't stay away. The tension was off the charts and desire sizzled every moment they were together. The attraction was unexpected to them but so delicious to me ;)

The ending was quite something. I have to admit I was left confused and feeling like I missed something. I definitely would've loved the story more if I understood that ending a little better. Nonetheless, Cruel Beauty was a hypnotizing story. The characters appeal to you in a way you least expect it.

4 Cats

12 comments:

  1. I'm so happy you read this and liked it. It is a much darker read so I know it isn't for everyone but I love it when those I know read it and love it!
    Have a wonderful weekend Eileen!!

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    1. Yay for both enjoying this one! Hope you have a lovely weekend too <3

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  2. I loved this book a lot, its one of my favorites retellings :) The ending confused me quite a bit too, it's a standalone novel but I have heard the author wants to make it a series one day. Lovely review <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one confused haha. If it does become a series, I'd definitely continue one :D Thanks Benish~

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  3. Hm, The Beauty and the Best is one of the fairytales that I personally think are really, really problematic (and weird if you think about it). I haven't read a retelling so far, because I'm just dreading to find out whether Hodge decided to change it up enough to make it less creepy. Everyone seems to be loving this though. I'm conflicted.

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    1. I'd say give it a try. You never know what might work for you ;)

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  4. I read this one a while ago and while I enjoyed it, I felt a little confused by the ending too. I'm still not sure what exactly happened haha.

    Great review!

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    1. You have no idea how happy I am to hear you say that lol!

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  5. I still haven't read this one though I now have a copy I won in a giveaway and I hope to read it soon after BEA!!

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    1. Yay for winning! Definitely let me know what you think of the ending :D

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  6. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the ending of the book, I give it points for being unique.

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    1. You're so not the only one!! That ending was something.....

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