Brooke Reviews: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel BeautyCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d heard good things about this book, and that’s why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I didn’t even realize it was a retelling, and so I was super excited when I finally read the synopsis. This book did not disappoint.

Summary: 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. Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known 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 as 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.

This book is a must-read. It’s a beautiful retelling / interpretation of Beauty and the Beast, a study of human nature and love, and about the realization that there’s evil in all of us. There are so many things to love about this novel. It’s creative, imaginative, and unique. Nyx is a heroine to root for from page 1, and although she harbors feelings of anger and bitterness toward her family, the reader sympathizes with her. This awful fate has been forced upon her, and she’s willing to accept it. She’s clever and real, but she meets her match in Ignifex, the man she’s been taught to believe is a monster.

The best thing about this book is there’s no insta-love. It takes a while for Nyx’s convictions and assumptions about her husband to unravel, and that’s what makes their romance believable and inspiring. The story world (Ignifex’s castle, for the most part) is incredible. And while the book is predominantly about the romance, there are elements of mystery and magic which give the book a fantastical and whimsical feel. Also, it isn’t predictable. And I always give points for that. 🙂

Have you read this book? Share your thoughts!

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