Friday, July 31, 2015

Novel Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, 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.

The Cover:

I absolutely love this cover. The interwoven rose petals and staircase is gorgeous, and very fitting. It shows the story very well--with it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, as well as the place that Ignifex lives, with all the exploring Nyx does. It fits the book so well, but it's beautiful on it's own. It caught my eye before I even knew what the book was about.


"If you desired someone, if he comforted you, if you thought he might leech the poison out of your heart, was that love? Or only desperation?” (Paperback, pg. 127)

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. I should have picked it up forever ago—I know I heard enough good things about it.
Nyx was chosen before birth to marry the ruler of her kingdom, the man who everyone hates and fears, who is the reason they are all stuck inside this bubble of a world. And she’s been trained to kill him, even if no one truly believes it’s possible.
There’s a lot of darkness in this book. Nyx has been harboring hard feelings for her twin sister, for her father and aunt, and for the dark king she is to marry. The dark king, likely, also harbors some hard feelings for his people, the people who command him, himself. They understand that in each other.
Nyx sneaks around a lot, trying to figure out the house, to figure out how to do what her sister wanted of her. There’s the shadow for her companionship, and sometimes during the day, the king, Ignifex. It’s interesting, the house he lives in, and the world outside it. The whole world that Hodge has created is beautiful and enchanting, and I’m so intrigued. There’s a lot of mythology interwoven in the story, some magic, and I loved it. I’m sure a lot of it flew over my head, but it made me intrigued, and I liked what I understood. Even though it was a little slow, it was never boring, and it was even a little surprising near the end.
There’s also a lot of swoon. I tried not to like Ignifex from the beginning, but he surprised me at the start. He’s fun, smart, very steamy. I really liked those scenes, but there was also a lot of chemistry. I’m pretty happy with the ending, even if I don’t quite think it made sense? Either way, I’m happy with how the story ended.
The writing was gorgeous, and the characters were so complex and believable. I loved this book, and am really looking forward to reading her others.

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