Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Posted August 20, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Books, COYER Summer Vacation, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Published by Harper Collins on January 28th 2014
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Family
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
ISBN: 9780062224750
Reading Challenges: COYER Summer Vacation
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

For fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

“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.”

I’ve been wanting to read Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty since it came out, and I’mg lad I finally picked it up from the library. This Beauty and the Beast re-telling is magical, suspenseful, and romantic. However while I swooned over the love affair between Nyx and Ignifex, there were times when I feared their love wasn’t meant to be. Cruel Beauty is a beautifully written, suspenseful story that I surprisingly loved.

What I loved about this novel the most were the characters. Nix, Ignifex, and even Shade weren’t cookie cutter characters. In fact, for most of the book I wasn’t even sure if I liked them as people. Yet, I kept hoping they’d catch a break. All of the characters in the book were very complex. I liked that they read as real people. They weren’t all good, but they also weren’t all bad. Even though I knew the story of Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed the fact that the characters made it feel unpredictable. Instead of re-reading a familiar tale, Hodge made the story feel new. Even the Insta-lve between the characters didn’t annoy me. Instead, it made their romance seem fated.

If there was anything I didn’t like, it was obviousness of the relationship between Ignifex and Shade. I immediately figured out their bond, so it made Nyx seem a bit dumb to me for someone who was supposed to be so smart. I feel as if Nyx should have figure that part of the mystery out a lot sooner than she did, and the longer the mystery dragged out, the more annoyed I became. Other than that, I found the story to be quite enjoyable.

There have been a lot of fairy tale re-tellings in the past few years. Some have been hits, while others have been very huge misses. I believe Cruel Beauty falls into the hits category. This was a pleasant surprise, as I heard mixed reviews about the novel. If you are a fan of re-tellings, I definitely think you should check this one out. It’s a great, mysterious story with complex characters, romance, and lots of magic.

About Rosamund Hodge

Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could lay hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She got a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in Medieval English from Oxford, and she now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu.


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