Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 24th, 2014
Summary (from 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.
If you are a fan of Beauty and the Beast, I strongly recommend Cruel Beauty to you! This retelling of the classic fairy tale contains elements of fantasy and romance. Cruel Beauty is so magical and captivating that you won’t want to put it down!
Cruel Beauty is so well written. Everything is so well described, especially the setting and how the main character, Nyx reacts to it. “There was no sound besides the drip-drop of melting ice and the occasional splash when I found a puddle. The mist swirled away from my feet and then back around my ankles, like a fearful but affectionate cat. I shivered, but the cold air had a sharp clean taste as sweet as honey, that made me want to linger.” I could picture every room so easily, it was almost like I was watching the Disney movie, but a dark, eerie version.
Also, Cruel Beauty was so full of betrayal. Nyx’s family betrays her by sending her to live with a demon, her mission is to betray that demon to set the land free, and there are so many more examples! This book is almost like Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, with all of the betraying. It is so full of deception and trickery. I love a good betrayal book.