Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
(Cruel Beauty Universe #1)
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 28th, 2014
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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.

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

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, 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. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

My thoughts…

Fairy tale re-telling’s have been a hit or miss for me and I’m disappointed to say that Cruel Beauty is another miss. I liked it but I didn’t really like it.

Nyx’s father made a bargain with the Gentle Lord before Nyx and her twin sister, Astraia, were born. Their mother was not able to conceive a child; their father approached the Gentle Lord (Ignifex) and asked him to grant them children. In exchange Nyx’s father promised one of his daughters to the Gentle Lord on her seventeen birthday. Nix’s father was unaware that by consenting to this bargain his wife would die during childbirth. Nyx has always known her destiny to be the wife of the Gentle Lord and that death will soon follow, while her sister gets the love and affection from their father and aunt (who by the way the father is having a secret relationship with). Nyx truly loves her twin sister, but she feels resentment and jealousy towards her.

When the time comes, Nyx goes with purpose, she is going to kill her husband, end his punishing reign over the kingdom and avenge her mother’s death. But, unsurprisingly, things are never quite that simple. She meets Ignifex and he isn’t what she expected, shortly after she meets the enslaved shadow, Shade. Enter double insta-love and the weirdest love triangle: Nyx kisses Shade and Ignifex, she loves them both, one betrays her and so she decides that she loves the other one, then she betrays him… ugh, after a while it became bit annoying.

I did enjoy the mythology that was mixed in with the fairy tale, although at times it was a bit confusing and overwhelming. I did not like the ending, I actually had to go back and read it again just to make sure I understood it correctly. I am hopeful that I will eventually find a Beauty and the Beast re-telling that I truly enjoy, until then Happy Reading - J


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