by Rosamund Hodge Published by Balzer + Bray
, Harper Collins
on January 28th 2014 Genres: Fantasy
, Young Adult Source: Publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads
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.
I do love good Fantasy books and I found myself craving these stories more and more. I always admire authors who have such a vivid and outstanding imagination and Cruel Beauty comes with an exciting premise!
Also, I’m super excited to host my Review today during the Blog Tour for Cruel Beauty, so stay tuned and there will be a Giveaway at the end for you! Thanks to Jamie and Rachel from Rockstar Book Tours
for organising this Blog Tour
Good – Evil ?
Before going deeper into the story I’d like to start with an overall theme of this novel that I found to be truly outstanding and highly intriguing. Often, labels such as good and evil are easy to set, a person is ei
ther mostly good, ro mostly evil which would make this one the villain and the other one the hero.
In Cruel Beauty we cannot apply these labels so easily and good and evil blur into each other.
I loved how delicately Rossamund Hodge approached this issue and did not shy away from creating characters we would like to easily assume being evil, but end of caring for.
Especially Ignifex the demon lord wasn’t easy to put into box. He was obviously not the nicest guy in town, but the more we get to know him the easier it is to forget some things he has done. It was incredibly intriguing to follow our own emotions about this very bivalent character.
Nyx – destined to kill your one true love?
Nxy was the heroine and main character in this story. From early on she knew that she was going to marry the evil Demon Lord and her father prepared her to meet her destiny.
Also here, Rossamund Hodge took an interesting approach and didn’t made Nxy a heroine who easily accepted her destiny and the path her father choose for her. She was actually very bitter about this. She was jealous that her twin sister was given a wonderful life, while she must marry a demon, kill him or die trying. There was not much hope for Nxy.
Still, she was not completely unlikable like you might assume, I found it rather refreshing having a heroine who is not ready to die for the greater good and is the perfect selfless heroine. I liked this honesty about her very much!
And it’s also these character traits that make her just the perfect love interest for a demon. Both of them are not without flaws and each one knows that they are not the perfect selfless heroes.
Unique and beautiful fantasy elements with a wonderful romance
Most fascinating about Cruel Beauty is definitely the development of the world. Inspired by Greek mythology we still find very unique elements that definitely stand out. Then there is the mysterious castle the Demon Lord lives in and when Nxy explores the house it’s constantly changing with new doors that lead to mesmerizing places. It was absolutely fantastic! Even more, there is a major twist in this story that made me gasp, very excited, but took me some time to wrap my mind around it. The romance was definitely full of chemistry but left me a little lukewarm to be honest. I cannot even put my finger on what I found missing, but I think I was hoping for more sizzling romance and instead found myself not being fully engrossed.
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a very melancholic, yet mesmerizing, surreal and outstanding debut, that let’s us see good and evil with new eyes!
Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could lay hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She got a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in Medieval English from Oxford, and she now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. Visit her on the web at http://www.rosamundhodge.net/
Website | Twitter | Facebook |Goodreads
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Who doesn’t love a good fairytale? I am looking forward to reading this, thanks for the giveaway!
Just an awesome book and post! I can’t wait to read this!
Sarah Kalaitzidis recently posted..When a Man Loves a Man Manga Review
*Silent Screams* I love fairy tales and most things princess related. I already have this on my to be read list! I can’t wait to get my hands on it, getting an arc version would be a great. Thanks for holding this giveaway. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book so I do have great hopes I’ll enjoy it.
PS. Nyx reminds me of the makeup brand though… confessions of a makeup addict.
Thao @ Paper Bunny recently posted..[Waiting On Wednesday] Mila 2.0 & Dear Killer
LOVE this post! It’s so true that good and evil depends on where you stand, your perspective, and the fact that most people have the capability for both.
This sounds like a complex take on a beloved narrative:)
I can’t wait to read this. I remember adding it to my tbr shelf after seeing a ton of blogs mention it as a book not to miss this year! 🙂
Farhana Chowdhury recently posted..Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This book looks so good! I’ve heard really good things about it so far! I love fairy tale retellings so this is something I need to get sometime soon!
I’m so excited for this book- I need a good re-telling of Beauty in the Best!- Thank you for this giveaway
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I’m so excited to read Cruel Beauty! Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairytale and Eros and Psyche is my second most favorite Greek myth (the first is Hades and Persephone)!
“Still, she was not completely unlikable like you might assume, I found it rather refreshing having a heroine who is not ready to die for the greater good and is the perfect selfless heroine.”
YES! That’s exactly what I loved about her too! She was angry about having to fall on the proverbial sword for her sister, and that actually made me happy because I would have been quite upset as well. I just loved everything about this one, and I need more from Rosamund asap!
Inspired by Greek mythology?! Well the settles it, I need this book!!! XD
Great review, Danny! I adored this book as well and I loved that the characters were so unusual and not your cookie cutter YA fantasy characters. And seriously, I want to go live in Ignifex’s house!
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted..Weird & Wonderful: CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge – Review
Love this cover!!! Can’t wait to read it:)
Thanks for the awesome giveaway
I can’t wait to read this.
I want to read this book so bad! Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales, and I love re-tellings. Add in the cover of this book, and its a must read!
Brooklynn Gibbs recently posted..Cover Reveal and Giveaway: For Her Protection by Amber Bardan
This sounds like a whole new take on a fairy tale that’s been told many times… I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway! ^^
Sounds pretty good. Personally, I find the concept of “good vs. evil” incredibly flawed in fiction. It’s such a modern thing, older literature really didn’t have much of that. On the other hand fairy tales and legends didn’t have much characterization to begin with because the stories were so short (sometimes a paragraph long) – so you could get away with a character being simply “good” or “evil”.
I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time-I’ve heard so many wonderful things, and the cover is gorgeous, which doesn’t hurt either 😉
I have seen this book a lot on other blogs and a lot on Goodreads but I haven’t really looked that much into the book. But wow… this book sounds really good!!! Definitely going in my TBR!! I really can’t wait to read this. Thanks for the giveaway by the way!
I had some trouble fully connecting with the romance too, but otherwise, I was really impressed with this book. The world-building was my favourite part. I loved how complex and imaginative it was, and also really loved the blurring of good and evil. Brilliant review, Danny! 🙂
Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted..Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
I’m looking forward to reading this!
I just got the ebook of Cruel Beauty today! I’m so excited o get started; I’ve been waiting for this book for a while.
Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was little. I even had Belle’s dress 🙂 Ahh… nostalgia…
D. @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted..Top ten worlds I’d never want to live in
Oh my goodness, this book sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to give this one a try (I’m a sucker for the beauty and the beast stories), great review!
This sounds so good! I love retellings, especially for Beauty and the Beast! It’s not common so when I come across one, I HAVE to read it!
This cover is so eye catching.
I love the book cover. It looks like a rose but when the cover is examine closely, there are stairs.
Love the post!! Can’t wait to read it!
Sounds super exciting! I really can’t wait for this one.
Dat cover doh!
green recently posted..My Friday Love – eBook Deals January/February
Oh my gosh! That cover is gorgeous! So excited to read it… but first I’ll probably just stare at it for awhile.
This is great!!! Thank you so much!!!
Love your review!!!
I’m dying to get my hands on this one! Everything I read about it just enhances that, and Nyx sounds like an awesome heroine.
I’m so excited to read this book! I love fairy tale retellings and have always adored Beauty and the Beast 😀
So excited about this book, the cover is gorgeous, the story and characters so intriguing. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!
I’m glad you enjoyed Cruel Beauty also, Danny. I was swept away by the world and story. And like you mentioned, I thought Ignifex and Nyx were a good romantic match, both dark and imperfect. Great post and review. 🙂
Kim @ Book Swoon recently posted..Book Review: Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman
ruel beauty was so amazing! I loved Nyx with her wicked side, and her desires for revenge, one of best MC that I’ve ever read about. And Ignifex… WoW, I’m in love with this man. Their romance was so perfect…
I’m a huge fan of retellings, and this one was a mixture of all my favourite fairy tales (Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin…) with some Greek mythology.
I read the entire book in two days and I enjoyed every page.
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