Author: Rosamond Hodge
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
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.
Cruel Beauty mixes two of my favourite things into one: mythology and a retellings of classic fairytale. At first I was a bit skeptical as to how these to ideas to mix together but at the same time excited to see someone try. My final verdict is that it worked pretty well and made for a new and refreshing twist on an old fairytale.
Cruel Beauty follows the story on Nyx who was chosen instead of her twin sister to marry the "Beast", who is actually very handsome and charming, and kills him in revenge for enslaving her world and killing her mother. For the most part the plot is much different than the original story, which is good because you don't know where the story is going to go and it's much more fast passed and action packed which is always a plus in my book.
I found Nyx to be a very unique character is YA fiction, she is full of hate. Specifically towards her sister and her father, her reasons are just in some ways so she is not an unenjoyable character as she may seem from this statement. I actually enjoyed her quite a lot and I especially loved her husband. There is a bit of a love triangle I would say, but is not your "typical" one, you will have to check out the book for yourself to find out more.
The only bad aspect for the book I can think of is that it goes heavily into detail with Greek mythology and not the myth and characters that the average person would know much about. It wasn't a problem for me because I have taken many mythology and ancient civilization classes but I can see where many may be confused and not enjoy the book as much due to this.
Overall Cruel Beauty was a refreshing addition to the fad of retellings with its added dark elements and mythology. The story is quite different than the Beauty and the Beast you may be used to but the basic plot points are still there... with a twist. I highly recommend this book to mythology, fantasy, and of course fairytale retelling lovers you won't want to miss this one.