Monday, January 20, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, HarperTeen
Release: January 28, 2014
Series: Cruel Beauty
Pages: 342
Review: 5 Stars

I got this ARC from The Regulator Bookstore.

Cruel Beauty was really something. Both a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and having Greek mythology, it was an explosive combination. I will tell you this right now, whatever you are expecting from this book is DEAD wrong! I had so many theories while reading, and next to none of them happened exactly how I thought it out. There are hints that could go so many different ways, it's insane!

The main character is Nyx. She is in no way shape or form a perfect person. And she knows that. She has a slightly irrational hate for her younger sister, and she has wicked in her heart. She admits that on page one. Her family though, with the slight exception of her twin sister, can all just poof. I hated their characters (in a good way) like the plague. Seriously, just die people! Nyx definitely goes through some changes in this book. She learns how to accept the people around her, and what it means to love. There's also Ignifex, AKA the beast. His character changes so much of the course of the book, it's amazing to watch. Also, there were lots of swoons where he's concerned. Knowing the story Beauty and the Beast will help with some plot points, but it does deviate as well.

The end! The end! I did not see it coming from a mile away. There was a lot of quick flipping of pages late into the night to see how it was going to end. The way the story ended, it could actually stand alone, but I REALLY want more! The characters got their story, but more is always appreciated. At some points, things got a little confusing. Like, whoa, where'd this come from? But it always made sense at some later point in the plot. The action was intense, the romance scorching, and the characters deep. They weren't your typical fairy tale heroes and heroins, they were so much more. Cruel Beauty is a beautiful retelling that isn't letting me out of it's grasp. A full five stars for sure!

Author Bio:

When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.

He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I will publish my first novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.

Cruel Beauty is my debut novel, but it is somewhere between the third and sixth that I ever completed, depending on how you count things. (There was the 40,000-word mess I called a novel when I was sixteen, and the 220,000-word mess I briefly pretended was a single novel in 2009.) Then I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers. I am represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates.

You Can Find Her At:


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 seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all 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.

You Can Find it At:


  1. After hearing a lot of negative things about this one, your review make me want to read it!
    And I LOVE retellings!

    1. It's an adapted taste, but definitely worth the read!