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Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty 1

by Rosamund Hodge
Publication Date: 25/07/2016
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $34.99 $32.00
If you're excited about the upcoming Disney film Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, don't miss Cruel Beauty.

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in this dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Perfect for fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected-particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy-who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.
Publication Date:
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • Great fairy tale retelling

    by on

    What would you do if, in a matter of hours, you were expected to marry the monster that rules your land? What would you feel if your father had given your hand up without a complain, expecting you to sacrifice yourself in the hope that you could take the monster with you? Nyx is living the nightmare.

    He was not like the vicious, mindless shadows that he ruled. As befit a prince, he far surpassed his subjects in power: he could speak and take such form that mortal eyes could look on him and not go mad. But he was a demon still. After our wedding night, how much of me would be left?

    Nyx is the type or heroine seldom found in YA novelsshe is flawed. After a life of studying for a suicide mission she never volunteered for, Nyx is angry and bitter. She hates her twin sister, Astraia, who is loved by everyone and leads the happy life Nyx could never had.

    One of us had to die. That was the bargain Father had struck, and it was not her fault that he had picked her to be the one who lived, but every time she smiled, I still thought: She smiles because she is safe. She is safe because I am going to die.

    Then she flung her arms around me. My shoulders tightened and I almost jerked away, but instead I made myself embrace her back. She was my only sister. I should love her and be willing to die for her, since the only other choice was that she die for me. And I did love her; I just couldnt stop resenting her either.

    The truth is, Mother died because of you, and now I have to die for your sake too. And neither one of us will ever forgive you.

    For good reason, Nyx resents Astraia, yet she still loves her. She cares about her. She wants to protect her. The sisters have a complicated relationship that is beautifully portrayed throughout the novel. They both have many layers; they feel imperfect and real.

    I pushed the thought away. All Astraias life, Father and Aunt Telomache had coddled and protected her. They had taught her over and over that her only purpose was to be loved. It wasnt her fault that shed never learnt to be brave, much less that theyd picked her to live instead of me. And anyway, how could I wish to live at the price of my own sisters life?

    Their father had to give one of the twins up for marriage, and, from the start, he settled on Nyx. Their mother had died giving birth, and Astraia being the spitting image of her, got to be protected. Nyx, who took after her dad, got to pay for his sins. He never showed regret, never so much as told her he loved her. Her dad is an ungrateful bastard.
    Proud, yes. But not loving. Even when we were very young, it was clear that Astraia took after Mother, and I after Father. So there was never any question which one of us would pay for his sin.

    Nyx's father is also sleeping with his late wife's sister. Nyx knows this, and given that she is expected to avenge her dead (which was partially father's fault), Nyx is pissed.

    No, its easy for you, I thought. Tonight you will fondle my father while I am the plaything of a demon.

    The relationships among the characters are the strongest part of this novel. They are as ugly as they are believable, as wrong as they are right.

    From the beginning, Nyx and her husband, the prince of Arcadia, have a complicated relationship. Neither of them is what the other one expected. Ignifex doesn't kiss her that first night, much less take her virginity, and he founds her amusing. Nyx is part good, part evil, and she is not going to let him get away with anything.

    But just one knife? he said. A prudent warrior would carry two. Or did I miss one? He leaned forward. Will my lady wife let me check?

    I smashed my fist into his face.

    I ship Ignifex and Nyx so hard. But, of course, there is a love triangle albeit a weird one. Shade is Ignifex's shade (duh), and he has a thing for Ignifex's wives. In only a few weeks, Nyx falls in love with Shade.

    He spoke slowly, and though I couldnt see his face, I knew he was struggling against the seal on his lips. I wish . . . we could have met . . . somewhere else.

    The air stilled in my lungs. If that was not a confession of love, it was near enough.
    I do too, I said.

    The love triangle did not bother me that much because it is such a unique situation, [SPOILER: like falling in love with two sides of the same coin].

    It gets complicated thoughlike I said, Shade is a shadow. He only has a solid body at night, and he must follow all of Ignifex's orders. This whole story is happening in a world where demons exist. It is the story of The Beauty and te Beast in a world of Greek Mythology. It does get confusing at times, but it is the kind of confusing that would be cleared up if you reread it.

    My biggest complain with Cruel Beauty is the ending. Not only is it confusing, it is also of the HEA variety. I wish something else had happened, something unpredictable that changed the ending into something almost bittersweet.