young adult • fantasy • retelling • romance
Every day for the last three years, she had thought she deserved to die. She still didn’t want to. She wanted to live with every filthy desperate scrap of her heart.
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.
As the second time reading Hodge’s splendid writing, I found this book really awesome. The collaboration of both Beauty and The Beast and Greek Mythology was really clever and refreshing.
Nyx character is the type of character that I love to read in a book. She is brave and strong-willed. Even though she tried to stay positive all the time, she often had her dark times where hate consumed her. I loved how she hated her sister but at the same time she didn’t want anything bad to happen to her. Another character I loved in this book is Ignifex. I was preparing for a beast with some anger issue, but what this book offered me was totally different. Ignifex is really a complex character with some serious devillish humour. He isn’t the type of “beast” that easily get mad. He also reminded me of Rumplestiltiskin with his mind twistting deals.
As for the world building, I felt it was not as detailed as the characters in the book. I enjoyed reading the story but at certain times I felt disconnected with the world they lived. There were some explanation but I still have so many questions when I finished reading this book.
There are so many romantic scene in this book that probably should have been lesser. I did enjoy them but probably a little heads up would have been better since I read this with an expectation of some badassery and smart getaway plotting.
Despite of some minor issue I had with the book, I still loved the story so much. I also loved how Hodge made some twist and turns until finally reached that awesome ending.