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April 16, 2015

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Received From: Library
Synopsis:  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 always hesitant to read books that are really hyped up. This is one of the reasons that I took so long to read Cruel Beauty. I was worried that it wouldn't live up to all of the hype and I was going to be disappointed. I shouldn't have worried though because Cruel Beauty was even better than I could have ever imagined.

I am a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings ever since I read Beauty by Robin Mckinley when I was younger. Cruel Beauty isn't a complete retelling of Beauty and the Beast but it has a similar arc to the classic story.

Overall I LOVED Cruel Beauty but I did have some small issues that I want to get out of the way so I can gush. I felt like the ending was a little rushed. I wish it had more of a slow burn rather than a fast a furious finale. I also had a few issues with the lust at first sight aspect to this book but neither of these things dampened my love of this book even a little.

The world building in this book was incredible. I am huge fan of fantasy and I love seeing how a world is developed.  This book was exquisitely crafted. No huge info dumps or anything like that. Just a slow release of information when the time called for it.

Nyx was a great character. She undertook the situation as I could see a real teen dealing with it. She had actual feelings and didn't just go along with what was happening to her. I like when a character gets angry and has real reactions to the things that are happening around her.

I think everyone who likes fairy tales should read this amazing retelling!


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