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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    301
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    210
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    114
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    46
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    20

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    344
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    175
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    75
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    32
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    15

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    271
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    185
  • 3 Stars
    110
  • 2 Stars
    57
  • 1 Stars
    24
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fabulous

Another stunner from both author and narrator. Richly imagined, ingenious use of Roman mythology, layered and nuanced. A cutting look at human nature and unconditional love.

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  • Story

Way too much crammed in this story

There's was way too much going on, it's like steampunk, but not, beauty and the beasy, but not, and there's a weird love triangle thing going on. The main character hates everyone and everything is then is constantly feeling guilty for being so hateful. It was difficult to finish.

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love love love!!! this book is amazing & beautiful

this book was beautifully written, suspense and romance and magic!! i can't express how much i loved this novel

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  • Story

where was the editor?

although I finally got caught up in the story..it was a struggle for the first third of the book. it seemed like endless repetitions of "I was born to save my country, I was raised for this task, oh I don't want my sister to hate me". it started to feel like the author was filibustering her own book, or trying to beat the reader over the head. fortunately the writing smoothed out and the plot moved on. throughout it all, with the description, phrasing and plot, it was apparent that this writer would become a good writer and her capability for interesting plots and twists would only get better

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Perfection woven into a book

I loved Cruel Beauty! I had been looking for a book that I could obsess over and after searching for a long time I finally found it. It has become my favorite book. I loved it from beginning through end and I just wished this was a series instead of a stand alone. The voice who narrated the story could not have been more perfect and she took the story to a whole new level. I'm still dreaming of the day when this standalone becomes a series and I shall not lose hope! The romance was beautiful and I'll forever be in love with this book!

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I'm torn but amazed

Would you listen to Cruel Beauty again? Why?

Parts of it

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ignifex because he's a bit of a Mr Darcy

Which scene was your favorite?

When she's getting to know Shade

Any additional comments?

I liked this book. It kept me interested. I felt the love was just a touch insta love and that the characters could have been a bit deeper. I agree with people who say it fell short. It did fall just under what it could have been. But I liked it and the ending was great. A bit gothic which I don't hate. All in all it was good.

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  • Story

Unique, fantastic story w/near perfect narration

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.

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  • Story

Not terrible, but not worth a credit

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.

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This could have been soooo much better!!

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Story

I am not sure if I am amused or confused! :S

What did you like best about Cruel Beauty? What did you like least?

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!

Would you recommend Cruel Beauty to your friends? Why or why not?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.