Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Published by: HarperCollins on January 28, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult
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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.For fans of bestselling authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.
I received this book for free from YABC in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Line: Beautiful writing, but I couldn’t get into the romance.
What I Loved: I was initially drawn to the fact that Cruel Beauty is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I don’t think I’ve read any of those so it was nice to see how this author would tackle it. I really loved Hodge’s writing. It was very elegant, vivid, and imaginary. I liked the world she created and the magic and mystery behind it all. I also enjoyed the dialogue. Nyx, although not a particularly positive protagonist, has her “Quick wit” moments and I actually enjoyed her interactions with Ignifex. I don’t want to give anything away, but just know that it was rather amusing seeing them together.
Left Me Wanting More: I’ll admit, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting and the “retelling” part was a bit out there. Things didn’t really come together until a little after halfway through and that’s when I started to see more bits and pieces that resembled the B&B storyline. I also wasn’t too fond of the romance. While I did like their interactions, I didn’t believe their love. Things were a big rushed in the emotion department and I honestly preferred them as friends and cohorts rather than lovers.
Final Verdict: I think if people go into this with an open mind and maybe even, not knowing it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, maybe they might enjoy it more. This is definitely one of those “slow burn” reads that you have to really be invested in. There were parts I really enjoyed and parts that were a bit confusing, but overall, it was a decent read. I’d say read this more for the uniquely magical world as opposed to the romance.
*This review was first published on YABC.*