Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

January 18, 2014     erinbook     Book review

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
352 Pages
Received: ARC Copy from publisher.
Format: Paperback ARC


Description: 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.Review: We are 18 days into 2014 and I think I may have already found a contender for my Best of 2014 list for the end of the year. I can hardly describe how this book makes me feel but I will certainly try. One of the most impressive things about this book is that it made me run the gambit of emotions. I started having trouble putting the book down to pay attention in classes because I became so invested in what was happening. There are a small number of books that are able to garner a response like that from me. As I got closer to the end, I became frantic to find out how it was going to end (and I may have yelled at the book once or twice).

One of the things that this book has going for it is that the mythology is fantastically done. It pulls a great deal from Greek mythology in a way that works for the story and not just for the sake of doing it.  Combining that with her own mythology to explain The Sundering and how the world came to be the way it is, the author has some of the best world-building that I’ve seen. I love mythology and I love it even more when it is done well.

As for the characters, I have to say that they made me love them pretty quickly. I don’t enjoy perfect characters and I don’t like boring character. The characters that catch my attention are the flawed ones with a bit of attitude. Nyx certainly falls into this category. She’s tough, she’s angry and secretive, and every once in a while a little bit of cruelty comes out. Some people may not like that she can be that way but I would say that that’s very human. People lash out sometimes and, whether they intend to or not, they can be very cruel when they do so. Considering how Nyx was raised it is hardly surprising that there’s a little bit of that in her. That doesn’t make her unlikable for me, it makes her a more relatable character.

Ignifex and Shade are also very interesting characters. I won’t spoil it here but their story is one of my favorite parts of the book. Their resolution tugs at my heart strings and had me sitting on the edge of my bed, talking to the book as I read. This is also the kind of book where you will start to form a theory on what is going to happen out loud as it happens and it’s very likely that you will not be right. I could never have predicted the ending.

Yes, this is one of my favorite books of the year. It may be one of my favorite books period. I’m still trying to decide it I should give it a place in my main library or keep it on my ARC shelf. So far only one other ARC has made it off the ARC shelf and that was the second Slayers book. On a side note, there is a novella set in the same world called Gilded Ashes which I’m going to download as soon as it comes out. I highly recommend Cruel Beauty and hope for many more stories in this universe.

Special thanks to the publisher who sent me this ARC in return for an honest review.

Keep Reading guys!
The Book Nut

Coming Soon…

Book Pet Peeves #1: Covers
Clockwork Angel Review

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