by Rosamund Hodge
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Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Fantasy
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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. (Goodreads)
Nyx Triskelion has been training since birth to kill the evil ruler of her kingdom to avenge her mother’s death and to save her people. Every day she puts a smile on her face and accepts the fate that has been laid out for her future. She is probably going to die, but she’s going to do her best to take down the evil Ignifex with her. That is, until she starts to fall in love with him. Now it’s up to Nyx to decide if she wants to kill the man she loves, or do what she has been trained to do and save her people.
Nyx was a very interesting character. When we first meet her, she is full of pure hatred. Most of this hatred is aimed towards her family. How could her father give her up to this monster of a ruler to save the kingdom? Why her? How was this right? We see this hatred eat at Nyx throughout a good part of the book. Nyx was definitely a kick-butt young lady. She knows exactly what she needs to do and she sets out to do it, even if it means risking her own life. Then one day things change, thanks to Ignifex. She fell in love with him, even when she didn’t want to, and through him she saw things completely different than they actually were. Ignifex was a bit of a mystery to me. Even after the book was over, I still had questions about him. They are the perfect couple, as Ignifex put it, both vicious and cruel. It was definitely interesting to watch their relationship grow.
The storyline for the book was really interesting. I love the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, even if we don’t see a lot of it. It’s definitely there. The book had a lot of Greek Mythology to it, but a lot of it was stories that I had never heard of before. This was both confusing and refreshing to me. It was a bit hard to keep up with everything some times, but it was neat to get to learn new stories. I was still able to fly through the pages, despite the bit of confusion that I had.
Can I also add that the cover for the novel is Gorgeous?? Kudos to whoever designed it, it’s absolutely stunning.
Overall; I found this book to be a very interesting read. It was not at all what I was expecting, but fascinating nonetheless. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author in the future.