[Review] Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

cruel beauty

Title: Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Media: Hardcover

Pages: 342

Overall Rating: red flame red flame   2 flames


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’m going to be quite frank right up front here: I did not like this book – it was just not for me.

Around page 40 I started to wonder if I could actually get through this one, but then we’re introduced to Ignifex and I thought I’d stick it out to see what happened between him and Nyx. And I did finish the book which is saying something.

Cruel Beauty is described as a reimagined Beauty and the Beast. What the synopsis doesn’t tell you is that it also includes Greek Mythology, elemental powers, demons, a smidge of time travel, and even some Rumpelstiltskin-ish parts. There is just so much going on and it becomes pretty ridiculous.

Nyx is the epitome of wishy-washy and there was a forced love triangle added for absolutely no reason. The amount of times that she goes back and forth between loving one or the other and then deciding she can’t have either of them because she has to save her family (that she hates, by the way) will give you whiplash.

I’ve taken quite a bit of time to write this review, partly because I’ve been busy but partly because I hate writing rants and I wanted to see if I would feel differently given some time.

Nope. This book just did nothing for me. The only reason I gave it two flames instead of one is because I was able to stick it out and finish it. I’ve read through enough reviews on Goodreads to know that this book is pretty polarizing. Seems like for as many people that feel the way that I do, there are just as many who love it. And to me, that is one of the beautiful things about books – they can be so many different things to so many different people.


Have you read this one? What did you think?


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