Friday, February 21, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge Review

"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."

It made me cry. Yes. C. R. Y. I can't believe it either, but those last words (of the first timeline) or almost last words are so sweet and tender.

You won't get it until you read it. But for right now, let's talk about Cruel Beauty. And yes, the beauty of this book is cruel. I guess some of us like looking at book titles in that way. And I am one of them. 

It's a really good story. Cruel Beauty has Shatter Me's insanity, Beauty and the Beast's beauty, and Frozen's storyline. But no, Cruel Beauty isn't the love child of these three stories. If I had to pick the ingredients, I would choice Beauty and the Beast (duh) and maybe Pandora (yes, the myth). I would also add some demon stories and that's pretty much it. (But I can't forget about the romance! Ignifex and Nyx are so cute together). 

Ignifex's house is a maze. It's one of the most important concepts in the book (other than the romance between Ignifex and Nyx). It's a very creepy house. Very creepy. Let me explain it. There's doors that go to nowhere. There's doors that will lead you to your death. It's like Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth with romance and curses. And Hera doesn't count. She's not the enemy in this story. 

Who is the villain? Fate themselves. I kid you not. It's Fate. I'll give you a little hint on who it is. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief. It's a minor character/villain in that book. And the word Fate is another hint. 

Nyx is a really strong character. She's very sure of herself, but when she looks at Ignifex...well...her entire plan blows itself up. Ignifex/some other guy (yep, it's a sort of three way love triangle) are her major distraction. Anything about them, she abandons everything just to hope for the best even though both of them are her enemy. Trained from the beginning of her birth (or at least close to it), she is very handy in knife fighting among killing people (but she never does it in the book). 

Last section before rating! The romance (kiss, kiss, kiss) between Ignifex and Nyx is really hot. I thought that it would be quite obvious that she would end up with him, but... Fate had to intervene.'s always fate. And the other guy! Shade and Nyx? Ugh...really disgusting couple. Well, not that bad, but just...not right. Okay, right, but not exactly right. Cruel Beauty is totally making the statement "love part of him, but not all of him" true. And, yes. I did just made up that statement. There's no way I could put it in better words. 

Rating: Four out of Five

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