[eARC Review] Cruel BeautyThursday, January 30, 2014
Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Source: eARC provided by publisher in exchange for honest review
Amazon | Chapters | TBD | Goodreads
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
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.
I am a sucker for anything related to Disney, fairy tales etc. So when I saw that this book was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast I knew I had to read it. What I did not expect was the paranormal mystery that I read.
I have to say first off, that I think this was a very original and unique way of retelling this story. It is not one that can be done well because it is so universally known, and the subject matter is hard a well. But overall I thought that I was a solid effort and followed the story pretty well (in its own way).
What I think i loved the most were the two main characters, Nyx and The Gentle Lord. These two characters were so different from each other in the beginning (just like the fairy tale) but as time went on, it seemed like they grew into the same type of person and their relationship was one I actually really liked, because it was not based on first impressions and sudden attraction. Although the author does say that The Gentle Lord is very handsome, Nyx does not let that fool her right away. Their admiration for each other comes gradually and i loved that.
Another aspect that I loved was Shade, a character made completely from shadows. He would help Nyx in her quest to save her land, and honestly at the beginning I was rooting for him to become human because he was such a great character. And his connection with Nyx was great to read because it was so different from her relationship with The Gentle Lord.
Yet I did have a few issues with the book as well, the whole demon aspect of the story was a bit confusing to me, as was the history behind why The Gentle Lord did what he did. I found that at times there was too much info dumping and not enough character interaction, which is what I loved the most in this book. As for the secondary characters, I absolutely HATED Nyx's sister and her father. When you read you will understand because they were just horrible people that took advantage of her in a vulnerable state. I really wanted to punch both of them. What I also felt really confused about was the ending. I won't spoil anything for you but lets just say I read it a couple of tomes to see if maybe I just misread. But honestly I am still confused as to how what happened...happened.
Overall Cruel Beauty was a great telling of a tale that has seldom been done before. But if you are not a fan of demons or paranormal activity then this book is not for you. But for me it was an interesting and compelling read!