31 January 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Source: Publisher [Edelweiss]

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.

Cruel Beauty was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014. From the cover so the synopsis, I just couldn't wait for this book to be released. And then I was able to download a review copy from Edelweiss and I was so excited! Cruel Beauty is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Rosamund Hodge mixes in demons and magic to her re-telling and gives it a completely different feel from the original story. This one is a lot darker.

Cruel Beauty has been my favourite Beauty and the Beast re-telling so far (and I think it'll be extremely hard to beat). I loved all the magic, demons, dark secrets and twists. I was pulled in straight away by this story and I loved every second of it.

I really did like Nyx. She's angry at her father for offering her to Ignifex and she's angry at her sister because she gets to live. Nyx is harbouring a lot of anger and it just keeps building and building inside of her. She's feisty and stubborn, extremely determined but she's also broken and feels unloved. Nyx was a complex character and I enjoyed seeing the changes in her throughout the book.

Ignifex was a character that I hated to love. I knew I shouldn't like him because he's a demon! But there was just something about him that I loved. He made deals with people that usually ended up with that person or someone else dying, so that makes him a pretty horrible character. But Ignifex could also be sweet and kind, especially when he was around Nyx. I thought he was actually pretty hilarious and I did really like him.

I wasn't a massive fan of Shade. I mean, he's a creepy shadow thing and I just never trusted him. He seemed to be up to something and I just couldn't make myself like him.

The romance was slightly weird. I enjoyed Nyx and Ignifex's connection (when Nyx finally allowed herself to like him) and I enjoyed seeing their relationship progress. What I didn't enjoy was Nyx and Shade because that was just pretty weird. Plus, Nyx threw herself at him on the first night so I lost all interest in their relationship.

Like I said before, I loved Hodge's twist on the original story. Adding demons and magic in just made this a lot more interesting and a hell of a lot darker. I loved the mythology as well. Mythology is one of my favourite things to read about so I loved wrapping my head around the mythology in Cruel Beauty. There were a lot of secrets that had to be uncovered throughout the book and I really enjoyed discovering them. I loved exploring the castle with Nyx and finding out what was in every nook and cranny (even if some of it wasn't very pleasant). I also really enjoyed Nyx's relationship with her sister. Even though Nyx hates being the one chosen, she still wants to protect her sister. They've got a really strong bond.

The ending, however, was the only part I was slightly disappointed with. It was just too perfect of an ending after everything that had happened, and also not really the way I was hoping it would go. But it was still a great ending. 

Overal, Cruel Beauty was a fantastic read! It was full of mythology, demons, darkness and Ignifex (which is a major plus!), and I adored everything about it. Cruel Beauty is a book I definitely recommend to everyone because it was just amazing.


  1. I actually expected such an ending, since it's a fairy tale after all. No matter how dark, I was really hoping to get a happily ever after :D I think it's also one of my favorite retellings from Beauty and the beast. The mythology worked so well!

    1. Part of me expected it, but I was hoping for Ignifex and Nyx at the end. I wanted a happy ending, but I wanted Ignifex and Nyx's happy ending! :L
      It really did! It's such a fantastic re-telling.

  2. I have heard enough great reviews about this one to make add this one to the must-read-soon list!
    Great review, Samantha!

    1. Yes! It;s a definitely must read Pili! :D
      Thanks :)

  3. I absolutely loved Cruel Beauty. It was written beautifully, and the characters were all very complex. I wasn't sure what to make of the romance initially, but I ended up loving how it ended.