Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
First published January 28th, 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
For fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.
Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom’s mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can’t resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who’s gotten in her way by stealing her heart.
I absolutely loved this story! I didn’t have many expectations for it, other than hoping to like it since I heard good things about it a long time ago, but I loved this so freaking much!
Meet Nyx, she is more of a sacrifice and a weapon than a daughter. Her father made a deal with Ignifex aka Gentle Lord, who rules and terrorizes the kingdom where they live, for his wife to be able to bear children, and if that happened, one would be given to Ignifex to marry. Well, that’s Nyx. But like any bargain with the Gentle Lord, it has costs, and so the mother died in childbirth. She is set to fulfill the destiny handed to her, even tho she hates it. But if the Gentle Lord thinks he is being handed a little nice girl to marry, he is awfully wrong.
This is one of the best books with a freaking “love triangle” because it’s such an uncommon one! I loved the romance in it and how dark and unexpected it was! It was just so intense and emotional and I was all for it! I was so invested! And obviously, I did have my fav but, then again, it was a tough competition here… Have you read this? Who did you root for?!
I absolutely loved the characters in this book, they kept surprising me and they engaged me from the very first pages. Nyx is a hell of a girl, she is brave, strong and against all hope, hopeful, but she also has her fair share of darkness. She is not perfect, far from it – and I think that’s what makes it impossible not to fall for her and hope the best in the world for her. She had such a rough life and the only thing she desired was some love and to be recognized, especially from her family… But even tho life is against her, she will not waver, she will make sure to keep her promises and do what she can for the common good, even if it’s the worst thing that could happen for herself. Her family tho, not my fav at all. A dad that would sell out her soul, an aunt that is in love with her dad and that’s pretty much all she cares about, and a sister that seemed super sweet and delicate and ends up creeping me out… It was for sure uncommon and not very warm-feeling no.
Then we have Ignifex, which is like AMAZING. I freaking love him! He is the best villain EVER. But then again is he really a villain? I couldn’t help but fall for him even tho he does commit some atrocious actions… He is just so human-like… He cares, and loves and hopes and I just… I love him. I was so rooting for him!! But we also have Shade, which I couldn’t help but love him too… He always tried to help, even tho sometimes, he couldn’t or made things only worse. But he did try and in the end, he is a good person… But I guess I always fall for the darker characters so… Ignifex, Ignifex, Ignifex!!!
The world was also REALLY interesting and unique. It was quite complex and had quite some Greek mythology mixed in it. The magic and arithmancy in it were also super interesting and the house was just fantastic, and I just kept trying to figure out things and utterly failing! This book really managed to surprise me and it kept me hooked all the way to the end. I also totally see the beauty and the best part of it, but this was so much darker, which is definitely my style!
The writing was terribly gripping and I would love more books like this one! This is totally my type of love story – dark and unpredictable! I loved this so much! If you like creepy dark emotional stories, this is the book for you – I would definitely recommend it if you haven’t read it yet!
Have you read this yet? What do you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!