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
I didn't like the beginning because the main character sounded like a broken record but she evolved more than most romance adventure heroines do and still stayed herself in a way. It was also striking that she was normal and human in a way most characters aren't. I also liked how much the story captures the imagination and leaves you wondering.
There are other reviews that sum this gem up as well or better than I can. Narrator's voice, cadence, pacing was just spot on. Story itself was probably the best YA material I've come across yet.
This book is really a mess from start to finish and its a shame because the story had so much potential. I am a fan of this genre so I can ignore the insta love and generic tropes but the world building, story telling, character motivations, and more are so jumbled it's difficult to follow. There are many many things (even in the constructs of a fantasy) that make no logical sense. The descriptions of the house, the world, the workings behind the magic which creates it, how the gods play into the world, good luck deciphering it all. The twist at the end I saw coming a mile away, and the ending itself is a convenient plot device, leaving the entire story and character struggles and motivations meaningless. The performance was okay, but some words are pronounced very very strange and almost up decipherable.
If you're thinking of a book with a similar narrator, style, and alchemical workings I suggest The Dark Days Club which is leaps and bounds better in every aspect.
I was super excited about this book, and it allllllmmmmmmoooooosssstttt delivered, but not quite. And the not quite part of it was enough to really piss me off. Rosamund Hodge needs to harness her talent of storytelling, cause I DO think she has talent, but harness it and not be so flippant about details and so self-indulgent with her character development. For example, Nix - who I was predisposed to like most of the time - acted like a moron much too often. She was a little toooo 17, you know? Like I get that a 17 year old is going to act a certain way. But Rosamund needs to remember that not everyone who reads about Nix is 17. I found her too hard to relate to. And also - she was written as a bit of a moron. So, you know...there was that.
Don't get me wrong is a very interesting book. It has a lot different elements together, maybe too many. It was crammed with information, traditions, stories, it was entertaining for a while but then I just felt confused... to say the least... in summary it was a reinvention and mixture of: Beauty and the Beast, Cupid and Psyche, alchemy, Hermeticism, T.S. Eliot's The Four Quartets, Rumpelstiltskin, and Greek mythology. >>> wait I am sure I missed something else... what? exactly!
If you like unique and weird stories and you dont pay too much attention to the details you will enjoy this book (if you pay attention you will go crazy with so many). I have not read a book similar to this so that's a good thing. If you get too much into the story and the characters and like to put the dots together you might not like the book, it was really confusing at some points.
Same as other readers, even though I put the dots pretty quick together about the love triangle I wish it would have been a little bit less cruel in actions. Again, its not a bad book, its just not for everyone. I will be interested in reading other books in the series to see if they keep it simple. Some times too much its just too much.
The narrator was great. The story was just bland. There was not the romance and crisis that I had hoped for. The entire story was very predictable. I was hoping for more excitement throughout the book. Quite bummed.
I loved this book. I loved the twist on Beauty and the Beast. I figured out early that shade and ignafex were of one person. but getting to the point of nix actually figuring it out really kept me engaged. I can't wait to read the twist on fair tales book.
What I liked best about this story is that it was 100% about The heroine. Yes it involved her love interest too, but that it she wasn't boy crazy. Her Decisions were based on more than just one boy.
The accent she gives to the story makes it feel like a fairytale and I loved it.
I listened to this book on a VERY long road trip. It was fun to listen to and stare out the window.
I am very pleased with this find. I am glad I used a credit on it.
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