Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cruel Beauty

Title:Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Number of Pages: 342
Date Read: 2/21/15
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling, Romance, Fantasy

Synopsis (Found on

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 Review:

I enjoyed reading this book. Its based on the Beauty and the Beast fairytale and its set in ancient Greece or at least in Greece during a time when Greek people still believed in the gods. 

Nyx was raised all her life to be a weapon by her father to kill her future husband when she married him. Nyx lives in Arcadia, in a world filled with demons, where people go mad by looking into the shadows where demons live. Arcadia was once part of the rest of the world but some time 900 years ago, Arcadia was sundered from the rest of the world and enclosed in its own world, with a fake sun and sky. Nyx's Arcadia is ruled by the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, who is a demon lord and king of bargains. He makes bargains with mortals but his prices always end in death, sorrow or misfortune. This is Nyx's husband. She is forced to marry a demon because of a bargain her father made with the Gentle lord and his price was one of Nyx's fathers daughters must marry him. Her father chose her. 

I liked Nyx. She wasn't just some girl who obeyed her father and went happily along with her fate. She was bitter, hateful, and upset at her father and Aunt (her mother died giving birth to her and her twin). She was jealous of her sister, had the rest of her life to live (Nyx's father's plan to kill Ignifex involved Nyx's dying). She was also very feisty, especially with Ignifex. Even though she hated her father and was jealous of her sister, she was still loyal to them in her cause to destroy Ignifex even when she fell in love with him. Nyx was someone who wanted love all her life and she found it with Ignifex and she was happy for a time, until she realized that she had to destroy him to save Arcadia. She was still determined to save Arcadia even when it broke her heart. 

I really liked Ignifex. He was funny, sarcastic and playful. He never got angry at Nyx, except for one time. In his own way her was a prisoner too, trapped to being the lord of bargains. He was also bitter and hateful but he trusted Nyx completely. He has many secrets that Nyx has to unravel and there are many things that he doesn't even know about himself that he has to discover in the book. He is kind to Nyx from the beginning and he falls in love with her as well. He knows what she's trying to do from the beginning, that she's trying to destroy him, but he loves her anyway. 

Shade is another character in the book. He is Ignifex's shadow and he is bound to obey Ignifex. He grows close to Nyx and helps her in finding what she needs to find to defeat Ignifex. He believes in her and she is her his hope in saving Arcadia. During the day he is a shadow but at night he gains a body, which allows him to speak to and help Nyx. Shade also has secrets that Nyx needs to find out and there are some romantic feelings between them also. 

I enjoyed the romance in the book a lot. At first Nyx had only desire (sexual) Ignifex and she was war with herself about her feelings for the demon who was responsible for her mother's death and the sundering of Arcadia. As they spent more time together they fell in love and they were happy. He never pushed her to do anything she didn't want to do and he never hurt her. The s**t does hit the fan later on and there are twists which I didn't see coming until the end but it was a really nice romance and love story. 


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