Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: January 28th 2014
Source: Received from publicist (Thanks, Megan!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)
Forgive the harsh rusty-ness of my review. It's been a while since I've typed something that isn't a report paper, homework or research. BUT. I am glad to post a review on a book that really caught my interest. Yay!! Aaaand since I have started my poetry career last week, I made one about this book.
The beauty that lies deep within
Used to pay for her father's sin
She is meant to save her own twin
Her heart now wearing thin
She tried and tried but failed to succeed
To reverse what her past agreed
Now all the warnings she must truly heed
To this dark lord she must concede
The people expect, the people know
Of the grand courage and revenge she must show
But from the beast that is now her beaux
she unwillingly let her love grow
Woohoo!! This is such a dead giveaway to what happens in the book. I really tried hard to make it rhyme! Cruel Beauty was such an awesome book at the beginning. I loved all the uncertainty, the big shebang of what goes on inside the castle, the mysterious mystery of the shadows and of course, the "beast" that lives inside. The story had a very good and smooth flow from the beginning to the near end. The only issue I had was at the last few chapters wherein I felt I was in a drug-induced haze. I was not sure what really happened between the two shifts but I felt like I was just tumbling down the rabbit hole. The messy sequence was saved, however with a revelation that was really unexpected. Never in a million years would have I expected such plot twist. It was very new and I really appreciated that.
The book can be categorized under "reluctant romance" Nyx is really fighting herself trying to dislike and hate and murder this thing that has entrapped her in his castle but the attraction is undeniable. But what is a girl to do when all she has been told and taught was to "free her people" and kill the beast? It is a much harder decision when you now know two sides of the story. Which now poses the greatest question in the story. Would you believe what you have been told all your life or the truth? More often than not, those two are not the same. Nyx really had a struggle and at first, I was annoyed at her hot and cold response to our "bad guy" but upon progression of the book, I sensed her struggle and disbelief at her new knowledge. How can she believe only fragments of the truth?
A story like Cruel beauty really intrigued me and for some people it was a predictable, boring book but for me, it showed what true struggle may look like begged the questions "where does your loyalty lie?" and "who would you believe?" The book answers both and none at the same time. I know it may sound confusing and cryptic but believe me, when you read the story, you too would understand.
Overall, I felt that this book was really worth my time and I would re-read it again just for the fun of it. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a something that will boggle your mind. Tell me what you think! :)