Cruel Beauty

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Cruel Beauty

by Rosamund Hodge

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | January 20, 2014 | Hardcover

Cruel Beauty is rated 3.7333 out of 5 by 15.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she''s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?

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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.63 × 6 × 1.13 in

Published: January 20, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062224735

ISBN - 13: 9780062224736

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from captivating! I really enjoyed this retelling of beauty and the beast, it was really captivating and left me wanting more.
Date published: 2014-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A great book for young people I purchased it not realizing that it was a book for young adults/teens. I would have loved it 15 years ago. But I feel that I have read read to story before. or seen a Movie with the exact same story line.
Date published: 2014-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It Went threw the pages fast was hard putting the book down. I thought it was really good and recommend it for sure !!
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I felt in love with the characters (Nyx, Ignifex and Shade) right away. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Everything happens so fast, so thrilling. It's an easy-to-read book and I recommend it for everyone that would like to read something relaxing (and still interesting). I look forward to the next book of the Cruel Beauty series.
Date published: 2014-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Majibookshelf Let's take a moment to marvel at this book being a standalone.. no.. this is not a contemporary book.. and yes.. I'm not tricking you, it really is a standalone *party commences* I know right? such a rare species to witness! I actually went into Cruel Beauty thinking it was part of a series but I am so happy to find out that it is in fact a standalone. Though I must warn you.. I almost labeled this book a disappointment because the beginning wasn't able to capture my interest at all.. however halfway through, I was addicted! I have a bad record with fairytale retellings. There you go, I said it. Till now I have never read a fairytale retelling that I rated higher than three stars. So I was a bit wary when I picked up Cruel Beauty since it is marketed as a Beauty and the Beast retelling. However, I have to say that while reading the book I honestly couldn't really connect it with that fairytale.. so if people are specifically looking for the resemblance, I don't think that should be the reason you pick Cruel Beauty up. The reasons are in fact much cooler, one being this book is set in a completely different world from ours with a historical vibe and is infused with greek mythology and teachings. I found that to be so fascinating and interesting. Another is the character.. she was put in a self sacrificing situation and what I liked about her is her honesty to actually resent the people who put her in this situation, even if it was her own father, aunt, and twin sister. I also loved how snarky and rebellious she was. After she gets married off to the Gentle Lord (i.e.: the demon that is the reason for her mother's death), she didn't cower in front of him. The fact that he looked like an actual, and handsome, man as well as found her rebellious streak amusing helped in her boldness of course. I loved loved the scenes between the main protagonist, Nyx, as well as the Gentle Lord, Ignifex. He was completely different from how she imagined him as well as how us, the readers, imagined him in the initial descriptions of him by the people in her town. We've also got another potential love interest Shadow.. who is an actual Shadow but I don't care about him which was why I was a bit uninterested the first half of the book since he showed up way more than Ignifex. The second half though? adorableness ensued. Kyaa! < that="" was="" my="" attempt="" at="" showing="" you="" how="" cute="" it="" was="" cruel="" beauty="" was="" such="" a="" unique="" novel,="" i="" personally="" didn't="" know="" which="" direction="" the="" author="" would="" take="" throughout="" the="" whole="" time="" i="" was="" reading="" it.="" i="" would="" definitely="" recommend="" it="" to="" ya="" fans="" and="" just="" give="" them="" a="" heads="" up="" that="" even="" if="" they="" couldn't="" connect="" with="" the="" novel="" initially,="" they="" should="" stick="" with="" it="" and="" find="" out="" why="" i="" enjoyed="" it="" so="" much!="">
Date published: 2014-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent read! I requested this book out of local library and loved it so much that I will be purchasing my own copy as soon as I am able. The two main characters have an excellent sharp "on page" chemistry that makes for a compelling story.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A lot of unused potential The concept of the book and the first impression of the characters are great. The hook is stellar with relationship dynamics and world setting but in the long run, the book needs more fleshing out. There are a lot of question left unanswered and while the ending ties many of them nicely, you're sill left unsatisfied. 
Date published: 2014-03-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too busy... I had high hopes for this book, I really did, but I couldn't help being a little disappointed. THE GOOD: I really loved Ignifex :) I thought he was super sexy and witty. I also loved all the different rooms in the castle, they were all very imaginative. The plot was very unique; I have to admit I haven't really read anything quite like it. THE BAD: This novel had a lot of potential to be a great ADULT FANTASY, which I think is what it should have been. If the author had spent more time fleshing out her ideas and world-building, this could have been the start to a great fantasy series. However, as a YA novel, I found it way too busy, with a bunch of ideas crammed into a small space. TL;DR: A decent and unique novel, but way too busy and not well planned. The romance was decent, but was overwhelmed by the crowdedness of the story.
Date published: 2014-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievably Addicting and Adorable So I loved this book. Loved it so much that I cried near to the end cause it was just so sad and I wanted everything to be okay and gosh I’m going to be rambling I think. Ignifex and Nyx are just one of the best things since sliced bread and jello. Not together. That would be gross. But Nyx and Ignifex aren’t! This book is one of the most adorable, most practical, most determined romances that I’ve read so far. Nyx has to make a difficult choice, falls in love with the roguish and ever adorable Ignifex, all while dealing with the fact that she was basically trained to stick a knife in his heart. Obviously she fails at that right off the bat, but it makes for lovely Nyxifex times. I giggled with delight at their romance. So. Darn. Cute. I seriously loved the plot here. I have to admit, the beginning is a bit slow, but press onwards and you’ll be rewarded with a piece of fiction that grips your senses and dangles them in front of your nose like a carrot until you finish the darn thing. The conflict was Beauty and the Beast-esque, but not so much that it wasn’t its own tale. CRUEL BEAUTY holds its own, even when problems rise up that you think are just going to ruin your day. Completely a must-read, and I can’t wait to read Rosamund’s next book. Maybe we’ll hear more about Nyx and Ignifex at some point!
Date published: 2014-03-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I had read positive reviews on this book, and thought that the storyline sounded great, but unfortunately the book didn't quite live up to my expectations. I found it confusing and cluttered up with unnecessary details at times, and I really couldn't get involved emotionally with Nyx & the Gentle Lord. It was a good concept, but I didn't love the writing.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed and bored I read the reviews before buying this book and I must say my reading tastes are completely different from the people who wrote those reviews unfortunately... I'm a big fan of The Beauty and The Beast kind of stories and although I wasn't expecting a copy of the fairytale, I ended up being extremely disappointed. To me, the story took forever to start. I forced myself to keep on reading. Then, some elements in the middle of the book got my interest (like the odd relationship between Nyx and the demon) and kept me going even though I thought the general layout of the story was boring and unoriginal. I thought this book was greatly lacking in dialogue and the ending completely turned me off. Lots of predictable things and not enough development with the characters. I've never read a book (that I've read completely) that I disliked that much.
Date published: 2014-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but I wanted more.. An e-ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review. A bargain made with the Gentle Lord, Nyx's father has given his eldest daughter to him to be his wife. As the magister of the Resurgandi, her whole existence is to kill her newly wedded husband so the people of Arcadia will be free. I DNF'd this one but after fellow bloggers loved it, I decided to try it out again and I'm glad I did. What bothered me was the beginning and in other areas of the book. The mythology info dumps felt out of place and would be literally dumped in your face. It was an onslaught and I had no idea how some or all was related to the story. I'm such a mythology fan but even I was confused as to different parts of what was being said. If you push past the beginning in sure you'll have a better read. The setting felt like a Victorian one, yet the people believed in the Ancient Greek and Roman Gods. A house that changes every time you move around just like a maze, books that make you forget how to read, and shadows that creep around you.  This book screamed instant love, so be wary of that. Why she ripped out her gown or tried to seduce him is beyond me. She would randomly kiss someone and the next day her thoughts would be full of him and him alone. I now understand why this is being called a love triangle and technically it is, but it isn't. You'll just have to find out what happens.  Ignifex and Shade are truly the most interesting characters. They're both so oblivious and also incredibly tolerant of Nyx and her anger. I just loved seeing them all interact on the page. It was brutal at times seeing as to how she would defy her husband and at the same time hilarious because she would struggle through her feelings only to give in. Nyx on the other hand is unlike any other main character I have read. First of all, she's selfish and proud, but at the same time she truly wants to help her sister and the people of Arcadia. She's also incredibly snarky, temperamental and just loves to make out with her Ignifex and Shade. It was the most odd love triangle I have ever read, but in a great way.  With a combination of elemental magic, Greek mythology infused with the Beauty and The Beast fairy tale, Cruel Beauty is a hauntingly original tale. The ending was the highlight and I enjoyed it so much (because questions were answered) and everything was revealed. Don't wait for a Beauty and the Beast retelling because it isn't at first, but it will be in the end. Lovely stand alone and I highly recommend picking this one up.
Date published: 2014-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An instant book club favourite Although this book came out on a Tuesday, I didn't manage to get my hands on it until the following Friday. Because of this, my co-workers had to listen to me talk about how much I was dying to read it for several days, and instead of telling me to be quiet, they all agreed to buy it too. I was lucky enough to read one of Hodge's short stories before I got my hands on her book, so I had an inkling of what to expect. That inkling, however, did not prepare me for the MUCHNESS of this book. You name it, it's in here, and it's all woven together perfectly. The writing is astounding, the romance is breath-taking, the world-building is magnificent and the magic is, well, magical. I tore right through it in about two hours, and I can't wait to go back and savour it. If you like faery-tales, Greek Mythology, arranged marriages, girls who are not afraid to punch people (who deserve it) in the face, family dramas, or creative takes on magic and history, this book is for you, and if, like me, you like all of those things, then you are set.
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from Swept Away By Books This book definitely won't be for everyone, and those who do read it need to go into it being open to something so entirely different and magical than what they had previously read before. Needless to say, I was not expecting the lush writing, wonderful and out of this world descriptiveness of Hodge's writing, or an absolutely and utterly unique retelling of a story that has been retold so many times before. As familiar as The Beauty and The Beast story is to many readers, Hodge completely turned it on it's head. She used Greek mythology to add an element of overall differentness. For me, that's the best way I can describe Cruel Beauty, simply as different. The characters are difficult to explain. They are complex and deceiving, loveable while at the same time being incredibly easy to dislike, and I think that's what I did like about them so much. They were so so flawed, and it made it so that I got so drawn into the story and their lives and the consequences of their actions that I didn't even realize I was hooked.  What wowed me was Hodge's ability to turn a house into a living and breathing character all on its own. Each time a door is opened into a room, the reader doesn't know what to expect. It created a sense of unease for Nyx and as such, for the reader too. I absolutely loved it, because it added such a cool and unexpected magical aspect to the story. “Almost immediately, I found the red door into the library. I opened it idly- and the breath stopped in my throat. It was the same room I remembered: the shelves, the lion-footed table, the white bass-relief of Clio. But now, tendrils of dark green ivy grew between the shelves, reaching toward the books as if they were hungry to read. White mist flowed along the floor, rippling and tumbling as if blown by wind. Across the ceiling wove a network of icy ropes like tree roots. They dripped- not little droplets like the ice melting off a tree but grape-sized drops of water, like giant tears, that splashed on the table, plopped to the floor.”   Beautiful, imaginative, unexpected, and romantic, Cruel Beauty starts off slow, but before you know it, you can't put the book down and you are desperate to know how this utterly different love story ends.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great retelling! Part retelling of Beauty and the Beast, part Greek mythology. Nyx has been raised from almost birth knowing she would marry the beast known as The Gentle Lord, all because of a bargain struck between he and her father years ago. And she's been training to kill the beast ever since she's known. When she turns seventeen and is married to him, she arrives with a plan that will end in his death, her family's revenge, and freedom. But the lord is nothing like she expects and she soon finds herself caring for him. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies and I love Greek mythology so a book with a plot that combines the two? How could I not want to read it? Not only did I get those two, but there were other stories and myths that I was reminded of(Bluebeard and Rumpelstilskin) while reading and I loved that. Nyx was such an interesting character. Her emotions and reactions were ones I found to be realistic in her situation. She's angry and bitter about her fate, and her knowing since almost birth about her being a sacrifice to the lord gives her this strength and knowledge that I really loved. She's definitely one of the most complicated character I remember coming across in a while. Ignifex/The Gentle Lord was a great contrast to Nyx. He makes bargains with people, like Nyx's father, but they never really work out in the bargainers favor even though they get what they asked for. At the beginning, through Nyx's beliefs, he's this evil creature but as the story goes on, he becomes more complex than just being this evil villain. There's this huge mystery surrounding him that slowly gets unravelled and, the more that's revealed, the easier it is to see what Nyx begins to see in him. It's definitely a darker fairy tale, which I loved. It was a little slow in the beginning but after that, it was twist after turn and even though I did figure some of them out, some caught me completely by surprise. There were sweet moments, steamy moments, heartbreaking moments, even some fun moments. And the writing was amazing, so perfect for a darker fairy tale. And that cover, so gorgeous and fitting for the story. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2013-12-04

– More About This Product –

Cruel Beauty

by Rosamund Hodge

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.63 × 6 × 1.13 in

Published: January 20, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062224735

ISBN - 13: 9780062224736

From the Publisher

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she''s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?

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.

Editorial Reviews

"A completely engrossing tale." (Alex Flinn, New York Times bestselling author of BEASTLY and TOWERING)
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