Cruel Beauty

cruel beautyCruel Beauty. Rosamund Hodge. Fantasy/Paranormal/Retelling/Young Adult. 2014. 342 pages. 4 stars. [Source: Bought]

“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense.
But now I knew that every mad word was true.”

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.

Throughout the month of June I have been craving everything high fantasy and Cruel Beauty was one of the many books Kyra has recommended. True to her word, this book was one hell of a fantasy.

Destined to marry a demon after a bargain her father made, Nyx Triskelion has grown up resentful towards her family. To her father for giving her up so easily, to her sister for being too perfect, to her mother for being born, to her aunt for taking the place of her mother, and mostly, to the Gentle Lord who set this doomed destiny for her.

The concept of the book was one of a kind despite it being a retelling. The characters were very diverse, personalized, and real no matter their form (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve read the book!)

I was surprised at the amount of humor Cruel Beauty contained since the genres it’s listed under seem to contradict the idea. Ignifex was a very witty character with an attractive visual appearance and tempting charm. Mind you, Ignifex isn’t his real name! If you think Ignifex sounds sultry, you should try saying his real name. Oh la la. 

The love story contained within was unlike any other. As the story progresses, secrets are revealed and people are betrayed as Nyx battles between her duty and her fate. The plot twist was one I was not expecting at all and despite it being a high fantasy/paranormal book, I got The Catastrophic History of You and Me vibes from this story. So if you’re a fan of that book–which I am–you’ll enjoy this story very much–which I did!

Nyx Triskelion has been featured in our Top Ten Tuesday, crowned as one of our badass female characters.

I’m currently reading Rosamund Hodge’s Crimson Bound, which is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. You can expect a review to be up very soon! Keep your eye out on our blog because we’ve got a lot of posts queued just for all y’all!

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