Review | Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel-BeautyBecause of a foolish bargain made by her father, Nyx has since birth been betrothed to the evil and mysterious ruler of her kingdom. For as long as she can remember, she has been training to kill her soon to be husband and free her people from his terrible rule.

Shortly after her marriage to the all-powerful Ignifex, she realizes that the beast is not what she expected and that the enchanted castle they live in has its own dangerous personality. As Nyx searches for a way to free her people, and quite possibly herself, she uncovers secrets she could never have imagined, coming to love her sworn enemy. Torn between the fate she’s carried since birth and the first time she’s ever felt that she’s belonged somewhere and with someone, Nyx must decide where her loyalties lie and what it means for her future.

I’ve always liked the story of Beauty and the Beast. Cruel Beauty is a fresh and interesting retelling of the old classic. Hodge did a good job of leaving hints for readers of what was going to happen next, but ultimately I was surprised with how the story resolved. I look forward to reading Rosamund Hodge’s next fairy tale retelling, Crimson Bound.

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: Kissing between a man and woman. It is implied that a married couple has sex.
  • Violence: a woman contemplates killing her husband
  • Language: mild

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Cruel Beauty Book Cover Cruel Beauty
Rosamund Hodge
Balzer + Bray
January 28, 2014

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny. For fans of bestselling authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, 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.