Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge #BookReview

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Stand alone
Published: January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genres:  YA, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Arc

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.

When I started reading this book I became instantly intrigued. At first it had much to do with the darkness of the main character, I’m not sure why that caught my eye so much but it did. Normally we think of MC’s as these perfect beautifully hearted girls that are going to save the world. The other thing that really caught my attention is that it’s a been a very long time since I’ve read the original Beauty and the Beast and this book was tickling the back of my mind with memories of the original story. Especially the name guessing thing. Anyway the fact of the matter is original fairy tales are darker and it’s one of my favorite things about them. This story definitely embodied that.

There were some different things infused in here. I thought the Greek Mythology add was kind of interesting and is another thing that’s dark of course. It went the route of the tales of the Gods who would vex and use people as playthings. Also the herematic magic was kind of interesting as well. I’m not sure if I completely understood how things worked with the hearts and sigils but I liked that there was the magical element.

I was easily absorbed in Ignifex and Nyx relationship. I loved how they made no apologies to one another right to their bitter end. They each had a purpose and they were both aware of that. Ignifex made deals and that is what he did, had always done and would always do. Nyx was there to kill him and save her world and nothing changed that. Yet they found their way to one another and were connected. I think it was the idea that they had to have impure hearts in order to see the beauty in each other. As far as Ignifex and Shade. I had a Peter Pan moment at the beginning of the book. Shade was intriguing but I wasn’t shocked by some of the outcomes with that.

I loved the elements of the story and how they came together in the plot. I was enamoured with the characters and how each had their own demons. I was intrigued by what exactly happened to their world to get them to having an overseeing “Gentle Lord”.I was delighted by the mythological elements woven in.

As far as fairytale retellings I felt this one was top notch. It gave me that old world fairytale feel with a modern twist. You can’t go wrong with a sexy demon. I also like the world that was created in the house and the characters with their flawed nature. Plus adding the Greek mythology was a nice little kick.