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Cruel Beauty | [Rosamund Hodge]

Cruel Beauty

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him. Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her 17th birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the 900-year-old curse he put on her people. But Ignifex is not what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle - a shifting maze of magical rooms - enthralls her.
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Publisher's Summary

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her 17th birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the 900-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?

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.

©2014 Rosamund Hodge (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (350 )
5 star
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4.1 (322 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Patty Oxford, NC, United States 01-30-14
    Patty Oxford, NC, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark, Unexpexted, Not your average retelling"
    Would you listen to Cruel Beauty again? Why?

    Definitely, its so much more than a retelling of a fairy tale, it is a story on its own with hints of a familiar tale, yet completely new. It left me wanting more of their struggle and their story... Sequel .... Please!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nyx, I always find myself disliking a weak female protagonist, but not here i loved her she is not the all good, pure girl, take what life gives her in silence, NOPE not here, i loved it how human and real the author makes her seem, i think we can all relate


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Knowelden – was your favorite?

    "The Prince" such a good job with the task.. at the end of the book you realize that it was such a hard task to ... shall we say portray all of his personality


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I did, the story grabs you and for a moment you think think you can let the computer alone ... only to immediately download it on your phone so you can keep listening while running errands


    Any additional comments?

    It id so worth one credit, but since i was out of them i spend money for this book and i do not regret it...

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barefoot rabbit 04-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seemed promising; ultimately hollow"

    I guess the other four few reviewers thought the book was great, so perhaps your feelings about this book will be a matter of taste. But if anything I describe here resonates in a bad way with you--avoid this one.

    I love retellings, and thought this looked promising--after all, the author promises us early on that we're in for some unique worldbuilding and a fascinating relationship dynamic. Both are hollow promises the author puts very little effort into fulfilling. There's all kinds of potential, but what seems like it will be a fascinating mystery to figure out within the magic system of this world turns out to be only a glittery surface. You soon discover that the author didn't really put the time into working these elements out very well thoroughly and just plunged ahead with her shiny premise. In reality, there turns out to be actually very little mystery to any of it, and very, very little substance to the magic system. You'd think at *least* the romance might be at least a bit entertaining (come on, this is Beauty and the Beast!), but instead it was enormously unsatisfying and emotionally hollow--not because the characters didn't have potential, but because the author didn't put much work into developing them.

    I waded through the endless repetitions of the protagonist raging on about her bitterness and feeling guilty about it--not in an interesting way, but in a monotonous way (seriously, this takes up about 3/4 of the book), hoping that the story would bloom at some point--but by the end, I was like, "That's it? REALLY?" The tidy little ending felt utterly false to me. Juvenile in the worst of ways--not in the best. No wonder, no magic, no depth.

    All that to say, if you demand a little more substance out of a story--especially one that's been told many times exactly because it has such potential for exploration of its characters and themes--avoid this one, which to me was just another disappointing, hastily-written YA offering. Try either of Robin McKinley's retellings (either Beauty or Rose Daughter) if you're looking for something well-written and satisfying.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle ATLANTIC BEACH, FL, United States 02-19-14
    Danielle ATLANTIC BEACH, FL, United States 02-19-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Beautiful Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! The narrator was impeccable and the story was a perfect fairy tale for an adult who likes to think.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cruel Beauty?

    When Nyx returns to chase away his darkness.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the demon lord takes Nyx to the Heart of Air.


    Any additional comments?

    I LOVE this narrator! She has a beautiful, young, and sweet voice with perfect pronunciation.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Jeffs 04-24-15
    C. Jeffs 04-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best Book Ever!"

    I read a lot! And the more I read the more picky I become. I've read Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Classicals like Gone With the Wind, Romances, Historical Fiction, Biographies and more. Some of my favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson, C.E. Murphey, Patricia Briggs, J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts, Mercedes Lackey, Michelle Sagara and Michelle West. I've read too many others to list.

    So I want you to understand my Full Meaning when I say that this is, unequivocally, the best Fantasy Romance I have ever read!!! It was amazing in every detail, beautifully crafted and expertly presented! It's a perfect wedding of narrator and author, where each is brilliant in its own setting, and together are almost blinding in their beauty.

    Even the use of my all time least favorite plot device in the past half hour of the book turned into my favorite climactic ending, ever! Without spoilers it's hard to be specific, but when that portion of the story started I almost stopped listening because of how much I hate stories that end the way it was seeming to go, but I was so enthralled that I had to finish, crossing my fingers (without much hope) that I wasn't going to be let down in the last thirty minutes of a an incredible story. And to my surprise, it was fabulous!

    Read this! I'm already giving it a second try, and I have a nearly photographic memory, so I RARELY re-read! It's SO worth it!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BrainyHeroine Las Vegas NV 02-05-15
    BrainyHeroine Las Vegas NV 02-05-15 Member Since 2014

    I love books, they save you, get you in trouble, and fill a piece of your heart that is always going missing. They are simply enchanting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Storyline"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would. Particularly if my friends were interested in "not common" Greek mythology. This book is an interesting perspective on common and uncommon Greek familiars.


    What other book might you compare Cruel Beauty to and why?

    I'd possibly compare it to the Lunar Chronicles. Familiar characters, different setting.


    What about Elizabeth Knowelden’s performance did you like?

    She was easy to understand, she made the characters come alive and I could listen to her tell this story for hours (which I did!)


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't open the door...


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book and have pre-ordered the next one by the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skiff 02-05-15
    Skiff 02-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant Colab"
    What did you love best about Cruel Beauty?

    I loved the way Greek (and other) mythology played directly into this story of Beauty and the Beast. Two of my favorite story concepts blended in a world that feels organic and plausible. It's brilliantly done.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Gentle Lord is a very enticing creature, and I appreciate getting to know (and love) him through Nyx's eyes.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Knowelden – was your favorite?

    The Gentle Lord is downright brilliant. Elizabeth Knowelden is a slower reader than I'm used to, but her voice and pace drove home the needed attitudes and accents for the characters and plot.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I love that Nyx is completely honest with herself, about being a terrible person and owning up to it. It's a very different idea for Beauty and the Beast, which is usually about the "Beauty" being this wholesome perfect loving creature that can break a spell; it was refreshing to see true humanity (and in ways inhumanity) in a character.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a brilliant story, plot, setting, world. This book is the reason I love YA Romance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lexie 11-10-14
    Lexie 11-10-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally engrossing!"
    What did you love best about Cruel Beauty?

    This book was presented to me as a "Beauty & the Beast" retelling. It was so much better, and included so many other elements. Mythology, mythology, mythology.


    Have you listened to any of Elizabeth Knowelden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had never listened to this speaker before, but I think she gave a wonderful performance. Her voice really did the characters justice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I couldn't quit listening to this if I wanted to!


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there was an actual sequel to this book- it left me wanting more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Oceanside, CA, United States 04-30-14
    Rachel Oceanside, CA, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It had potential but fell short"
    Any additional comments?

    I agree with another reviewer who said it was hollow. The set up was great, the characters were great, but it lacked so much depth. I wish it would have developed the characters a lot more. To me it just seemed to abruptly move from scene to scene without much explanation and a lot of the time I was very confused as to what in the world was going on. Maybe I just wasn't able to pay full attention though because the narrator really seemed like she was reading the book to put me to sleep! She has such a soft, lovely voice that it would be perfect to lull anyone to sleep, but to tell a story, it wasn't good. There was hardly any emotion or inflection in her voice and it almost seemed like she read the whole book in a half whisper.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 04-22-14
    Jasmine 04-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Such a lovely story"
    What did you love best about Cruel Beauty?

    I love that the story keeps you on your toes. It isn't predicable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    It is such a good story, I really love it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle United States 02-03-14
    Michelle United States 02-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Delicious and so lovely"

    This is one of those rare books that only come along once a year which leaves you feeling wholly satisfied. At the end I was sad it was over yet there was nothing left to ask for. It is so incredibly, beautifully written. I felt so in love and loved. Somehow I am quite positive I learned something new about love too.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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