Hello lovelies! Today I have something sort of new and special planned. Recently, I’ve been in the mood to reread some of my old favorites and I thought it may be kind of fun to do some reviews of books that I never got the chance to discuss the first time around. The first one on the list is Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so let’s get going!
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.
RATING: 5/5 STARS
Beauty in the Beast is by far my most favorite fairytale, so anytime a new retelling comes out, I definitely jump at the chance to get my hands on it as soon as I can. Cruel Beauty was an absolute gem to read, and I think it may be one of my favorite retellings ever. To start, this book does a fantastic job building off the original story. The way she took the base fairytale and added in these fantastic magical elements and a wonderful, unique love story.
The characters in this story are twisted, and completely different from most. Nyx is strong, but she is also has this dark side that pairs so nicely with that of Ignifex. Ignifex was the sort of beast that seems bad on the surface, but as his character developed and we got to see more and more about him, we saw that even with his dark parts, he has some light in him.
Like most Beauty and the Beast retellings, there’s definitely some friction between our characters. They disliked one another in the beginning, but seeing their relationship develop was great. In this story, there is some mystery and questions about why Ignifex is what he is, and as the two work together to figure it out, they begin to grow closer. Over the course of their relationship, they began to form feelings for one another, and I loved every second of it. The plotline of this book is extremely unique and includes demons, along with several other facets that blended together beautifully.
This book was just as amazing the second time as it was the first time. Sometimes, the second go around points out flaws that we miss in the exciting rush of reading something for the first time, but with Cruel Beauty, I thought it was just as stunning, and I honestly think that I picked up on so many special things that made me adore this book even more. If you haven’t read this one yet, and you like Beauty and the Beast, I would highly recommend this one. Even if you don’t like Beauty and the Beast, I would definitely recommend at least giving this amazing fantasy novel a fighting chance.