Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)

by Rosamund Hodge
Publishing: January 28, 2014 | Balzar & Bray
Status: Finished. I will buy this and reread it over and over. That's how much I loved this book
         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.
         Was it just me, or did this book feel like an allegory? It was rather confusing and complex for a YA novel, but still so amazing! However, I don't think I'll continue the "series" or read another Hodge retelling.
         This is one of the rare books that got me hooked on the first page. My feelings for this book grew. I loved every second of it and I don't think I really hated any part of it. That demands applause because I am impossible to please.
         The plot, history, story, characters, setting and mythology of this story... superb. The plot focuses on revenge, but things don't always happen the way you planned. I really liked that. Nyx was so sure and resilient, but was thrown off by Ignifex. I loved watching their relationship develop. It was really cute and insta-lovey, but I forgive it. You see what this book has done?! I forgave insta-love! This book has changed me...Anyway. The history behind the story is really intricate and really confusing. The history is intertwined with gods/spirits and has a lot of elements added. I think the author should have "continued" the "series" by writing the history, instead of writing another retelling. Kind of like what J.K. Rowling did by writing the Hogwarts Library.
         I loved Nyx and Ignifex. Nyx was so self aware and sassy. She had bite. She realizes when she's wallowing in self pity and stops. She's incredibly in touch with her feelings and doesn't take anyone's bullshit or stupidity. I love that about her. Ignifex... he reminded me of Rumpelstiltskin, but less wicked and more playful. Ignifex is literally a human cat. He had a duality, he can be wicked, but he can also be compassionate. He's so misunderstood. He reminds me of Toothless tbh.
         Their relationship reminded me of one of my favorite fictional couples, Patrick Verona and Katarina Stratford. There is animosity in their relationship, but they're incredibly similar. Their similarities creates this bond and they fall in love.
         I adored the castle they lived it. It definitely took aspects from Beauty and the Beast but the author made it extra magical. Each room was different and had something weird to it. The house was a labyrinth *David Bowie...* and kind of like the staircases in Harry Potter. The descriptions of the home... enchanting...
         I hate Nyx's family. I thought everyone in that family was incredibly selfish and stupid. I found Nyx's sister, Astraia, extremely naive, annoying and horrid. Astraia was hating the wrong person. She blamed Ignifex for everything, when she should have blamed her father. Everyone in the family was stupid and disgusting. I pitied Nyx for having to deal with them.


  1. wow, what a glowing review!! You loved EVERYTHING about this book? I'm glad all around the aspects were well done. I've heard such great things about this one, I plan on picking it up soon. And it's a retelling? Yay! Great review :)

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!! It's slightly insta-lovey and confusing, but it's such an interesting story.


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