Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

byRosamund Hodge

Paperback | April 7, 2015

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If you’re excited about the upcoming Disney film Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, don’t miss Cruel Beauty.

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in this dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Perfect for fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that 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 what 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.

Rosamund Hodge grew up in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on but especially fantasy and mythology. She is also the author ofCruel Beauty. She received a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle, Washington.
Title:Cruel BeautyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062224743

ISBN - 13:9780062224743


Rated 4 out of 5 by from i really enjoyed this book I read this book in one day. I was afraid i wasn't gonna like this book. But once i started reading this book i could not put it down. It was a good retelling and a fast read.
Date published: 2018-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting This book was really interesting to me, with a twist that was good (if not slightly predictable). #plumreviews
Date published: 2018-07-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was alright I am a sucker for fairytale retelling and I could see where beauty and the beast was incorporated, which was awesome. However, the plot felt rushed and I was often confused on what was happening with the "curse." Although I got confused, I still liked it in the end, not one of my favourites, but still a great read.
Date published: 2018-07-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Missed the Mark I loved the first 100 pages of this book so much that i was 99% sure it'd be a 4 or 5 star book. I loved the writing and the main character's sass, and the "Dark Lord" or whatever his title is was REALLY interesting. But holy moly, this book does a 180. It starts out strong but turns into trash. HORRID insta-love, obnoxious and confusing love triangle (??????), and I was completely baffled by the world/magic system. I'm not sure if it's because I listened to it on audio, but i am SO confused by everything. It tries to incorporate both mythology and elemental magic, and it just did not work for me. I was so confused on who all the different magical entities were that controlled the world and none of it made sense to me whatsoever. I'm still roiling a bit on what just happened there at the end because it also starts to pull in time travel? I will not be continuing this series and I would not recommend this one.
Date published: 2018-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing The author has a way with words. I could not put this book down, it was so compelling that I was on the edge of my set the entire time. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I'm actually surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this! I was definitely hesitant, because it seemed like the kind of cliché novel that I would burn after reading, but it's definitely better than expected! Now, there are some parts that did make me feel annoyed; at the beginning Nyx is pretty... insufferable- but she gets better! I mean, there many foolish actions that she does, but a character can't be perfect, right? There were some parts near the end that I felt like were a bit forced.. It was kind of out of the blue, but I'm not going to spoil that part for you. In addition, I feel like some parts were pretty predictable; I mean, I could pretty much see the setup of the entire story, but it was still a good read! I thought that Nyx and Ignifex were lovely in their relationship (for the most part); they just had this sort of chemistry. There were bits of mystery and riddles, which I did like. I'd say give it a try if you're debating whether you should read it or not, but if you aren't a fan of heavy romance, then maybe try something else.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasantly Surprised I was sure that I wouldn't like this book and that it would be typical supernatural type romance, but the few darker twists the story contained actually made me appreciate it!
Date published: 2018-03-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good retelling No story will ever be as great as the original but for a retelling i think it was enjoyable. It was a light read and easy to follow but not the best for avid readers as there wasnt anything very unique about it. It felt very cliche, but who says cliche is a terrible thing?
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nah I read the good reviews and got this book. It was even okay at the beginning but as it went along, the story dragged on and on. I lost my interest and the ending was......crappy. There are more interesting books out there that do re-telling of old fairy tales that are better.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book is Great This book is a great twist on a classic tale
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cruel Beauty I liked the concept of this book but I really didn't enjoy the writing style
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Author Has Come to be One of my Favorites This book was way better than I thought it was going to be. I bought it because it was compared to graceling which is one of my favourite books but was discouraged by the realization that most books I think will be awsome turn out to be let downs. So it was put in the same corner ad throne of glass which I now realize was a mistake. Now that I've finally read the book I have to say it was a favorite. Nyx is a strong character with a mission that connot be interfered. In the end not even love can stop her from reaching her goal which is extremely rare in books these days especially since this was based around a love story. I only wish that more of my book heroines were like her. I enjoyed her beautiful flawed self even if I forgot a few times that she was supposed to be an assassin. Her love interest was just as beautifully flawed and I enjoyed the cocky and violent way they interacted with eachother. There was a love triangle which under normal circumstances would have pissed me off especially since you know from the beginning who she's going to chose (or so I thought anyway) but this may have been the one and only time where I actually found myself getting into it. Her family had a depth that I never would have expected. From the beginning you see them all as being one way or another but as you go through the book you find sides of them you wouldn't have known were there. I loved Nyx's constant internal struggle to be accepted by them. The world building was good though confusing. I was often struggleing to figure out what was going on in the castle and the wrest of Arcadia and I'm still not entirely sure. The culture was the best part about the world building though I feel like there could have been more. The entirety of the plot I felt was believable and intricate. I was entranced by the urgency and the mystery of the characters situation. It was a nicely paced story and the only point where I couldn't keep up with the plot was four chapters from the end when everything implodes in a whirlwind of confusion that I didn't quite recover from until the inevitable angst of the end. I enjoyed the end though because it doesn't wrap up in a perfect happily ever after; instead it's messy but full of hope and I admire that. All in all it was a terrific book with likable characters. I feel the world has room to grow and being such a good author I think it would be great if Rosamund wrote a companion to it. This book truly did speak to me on a spiritual level and in some ways reminded me of myself which is very rare.
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Highly Entertaining I know this book is nothing special. The writing is good enough, the setting is interesting and the characters, albeit sometimes annoying, are endearing. It is definitely not literature; it's cliché and cheesy and felt overly romantic at times (a lot of times) (though you could say it is a romance, I don't really know what I was expecting). But I am just bashing to explain why I didn't give it five stars. Because if had rated it based on my enjoyment of it, it would have gotten all the points.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK but repetitive This book had a great concept and really amazing plot. Unfortunately the writing ruined it for me. I hated and raged at Nyx for the number of times she told us how much rage and hate she has in her. The repetition really got to me. However, around all of that rage and hate I did feel for her as a character and understood her emotions. I am a sucker for romance as well so even though it did go over the top at times, I mostly liked/didn't mind the romance. I really liked the story and the concept of the world, and the fact that the end of the novel concluded the story. I know it is a series but I don't feel compelled to keep reading in order to find out what happens. Although I may check out future works in the hopes that the writing gets better.
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read One of the best YA fantasy's that I have read in a long time, fans of Tamora Pierce, Kistin Cashore, Robin McKinley will absolutely love the engrossing tale that Rosamund Hodge has created. Both the hero and heroine are refreshingly wicked and have the best "on page" chemistry between two characters that I have read in a long time which just adds a layer that is sometimes sadly lacking in many YA books. Definitely a keeper!
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good retelling of Beauty and the Beast Great book! I enjoyed reading this and read it fast. There were a few slower spots, but overall a good read.
Date published: 2017-06-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as great as I thought it would be. the only problem i have with this book is Nyx whining about how she hurt her sister when all she did was tell the truth. Every paragraph its the same thing, "Oh my dear sister, I hurt her. I dont deserve her, Im not good blah blah blah." For it to be a "retelling" of beauty and the beast I thought it would actually be good/interesting but it wasnt tbh.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this Book Was such an interesting read!
Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't Like It This retelling wasn't great. Slow, dragged on, and mediocre at best.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Retelling Not what I was expecting for a retelling, but it's very cool how it's incorporated with greek/roman mythology. It was a bit slower in the beginning but it was a really nice build up to the end of the book. Interesting enough, the heroine of this story isn't exactly a hero in the sense that she's always doing the right thing - in fact, I'd say she did some bad things but it definitely makes it so that the line between good and evil isn't clear cut and makes for a more interesting read.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from pleasantly surprised you have to be in the mood, but its a great retelling #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A really original mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Greco-Roman mythology A gorgeous blend of mythology and fairy tale. This book is perfect in that sense. The world-building, atmosphere, language, setting, story arc, and character types are all right on the mark. The creativity of this re-imagining is astounding. It is not very action-packed and the romance comes on a bit too quickly (plus there is a sort-of love triangle), but it is still a fascinating read.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright There were parts I enjoyed, others not so much. Book wasn't good but wasn't bad either, it was just there.
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I really didn't enjoy this one I really didn't like this retelling. I finished the book but only because I cannot read most of a book and not finish it. But I wouldn't recommend it to people.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good Interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It was a little confusing and I found some parts of it hard to get through. Overall it's pretty good though
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed I read this book a while back and the ending had gotten me a bit confused. It's a gpod book but I had hoped it would have had a different ending.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Such a fast and easy read! I was so sad to put it down cause it was such a good story.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting, meant for a specific type of reader This book inspired me for an art montage, I listened to the audio book while I drew. I loved this book, but this genre is not for everybody
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting BatB influence I've always been a bit hesitant to read YA retellings/adaptations of classic stories. That said, this novel is so very loosely based on Beauty and the Beast that it is more influenced by than a retelling of. I will admit that I began to lose interest in the last quarter or so of the book, but GOODNESS did I love the first 3/4. I am a sucker for mythology.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible I honestly feel like 2 stars would be pretty generous for this book. I was really looking forward to reading this, I didn't think it would be amazing, but I figured that it was going to be a quick, fun read for the weekend. I was wrong. This book has terrible characters, cringe worthy Insta-love, a convoluted plot (including but not limited to:time travel, amnesia for storytelling purposes, Greek/Roman mythology, and two magic systems), plus soap opera level nonsense throughout. I am honestly not sure why I finished it at all.
Date published: 2017-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique I don't honestly know how I feel about this one. The writing is absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, I could only dream of writing half as eloquently as the author. And I really did appreciate all the references to Classical Mythology. Completely different it was from what I was expecting. It's incredible, especially for YA. But I think there was just so much put into the world and the mythology that it really took a lot to process. At one point I was expecting your typical Beauty and the Beast tale, but then it just veered off into this immensely unique fantasy landscape and it honestly left me a little dazed.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting Read I really enjoyed the spin on the traditional story of the Beauty and the Beast. In books I usually look for new ideas and good world building so I was not disappointed in this book. The book did have dark tones and the character had flaws which in just made her seem more human to me. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different Different retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Loved the spunk of Nyx.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining! I liked this book. The retelling of the Beauty and the Beast is quite original. It actually feels like a new fairy tale on its own. I liked the characters even though the main one was annoying by moment... teenager's attitude and all. It was a light and easy read that I would recommend to someone who likes fairy tales' retelling.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dark & Compelling It's a nice, quick read for anyone into the YA genre or anyone who loves a spin on classic mythology/fairytales. Although the main romance could be a bit cliche and frustrating at times, I still loved the two characters together -- their interactions and banter definitely made the novel for me. While I consider the ending to be the weakest part of the book, I still find myself wanting more from Hodge. I really hope she continues to expand this universe beyond Cruel Beauty & Crimson Bound.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1) It's a gorgeously written blend of Beauty and the Beast retelling and Greek mythology. It's at once a powerful, wonderful, heart-breaking love story and so so much more than that. It's a dark tale that stabs you in the heart at every turn and constantly throws all new levels of craziness into the mix. And it's the latest addition to my favourite YA of all time shelf.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very dark I am really not at all sure what I just read. This book is a baffling mix of beautiful prose, characters that seemed determined to make me love and hate them in equal measure, and a plot - and an ending - that left my mind spinning. I mean, nearly every single character is such a horrible person that you really shouldn't like them, but you do...maybe? Was that endearing ferocious bitterness or morally reprehensible hatred? I don't really know. I feel like I was in some sort of weird dream, reading this book. The ending sunk me deeper into this weird mire of darkness and doubt and melodrama. And yet there was something undeniably beautiful and appealing about the whole thing. I don't really know how I feel about this book. I need to extricate myself from the twisted characters and even more twisted plot before I can think about this book in a rational way.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing twist on Beauty and the Beast This is nothing like what I thought a retelling of a fairytale would be like but it was amazing nonetheless. The way Hodge blended mythology into the story was spellbinding and the main character was very well developed.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intriguing I knew it would be beauty and the beast themed when I purchased it, but I think it's so much better than what I was expecting! Everything in it is intriguing and mysterious . Very good read!!!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfection? This book was honestly one of the best books I have ever read. This retelling of Beauty and the Beast was so dark and compelling that it was almost better than the first. The complex characters were perfect and I love how sacrificing Nyx was, she was an amazing character and I love how she wasn't perfect at everything. And do I even have to mention the Gentle Lord, boy was he swoon worthy <33
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Story This book was a retelling of beauty and the beast. Initially I was pretty excited to read this book. However, I got pretty bored within the first few chapters. I wish the author would have dove a little deeper into the story, but within the YA genre I couldnt have expected more. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful I read this when it first came out, but I kept putting off reviewing it because I didn’t want to taint it. (Doesn’t that spell confidence?) I have so much to say, or rather so much that I think and feel about this, but I feel like my words won’t be adequate. Also, I don’t want to ruin anything for people who still haven’t read it. Nonetheless, I’ll try to produce the right words. This is a gorgeous blend of mythology and fairy tale. Absolutely gorgeous. This book is perfect in that sense. The world-building, atmosphere, language, setting, story arc, and character types are all right on the mark. The creativity of this re-imagining is astounding. Three issues I take with in this book: 1) I wish there had been more interaction between Nyx and Ignifex. The romance was just a tad too quick for me. I wanted them to have more conversations about just anything. I wanted them to get to know each other more. 2) Shade. I did not really want this character around. I would have preferred the romance to be just between Ignifex and Nyx, although Shade was necessary and his presence makes sense in the context of the big reveal. Perhaps it’s not so much his existence that I didn’t like, but the way he interacted with Nyx. I would have wanted him to be more of a best friend character. I think that would have worked a lot better. It might have something to do with my usual hatred of love triangles. 3) I wish there had been more going on than Nyx looking throughout the castle, even though that was significant to her mission. I just wanted a few other events to be going on, day after day, maybe to ratchet up the suspense or add more layers to this already rich world. Hodge could have really played on that. Despite my complaints, I really liked this book. My second paragraph says it all, but I don’t want to spoil it; it has to be experienced. By the way, the ending is a bit confusing, and more than a bit heart-wrenching, but it is perfect in its strangeness and the way it matches the myth/fairy tale vibe of the story. I’ve said it before; endings can’t always work out perfectly. The ending is ultimately happy, though. Such a fascinating book. I would definitely say read it. It’s very original, despite being based on ages-old tales.
Date published: 2016-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning I reread this over the summer and it was even better than I remembered. The prose is beautiful. It's a story of broken people learning that they *can* love and can, in fact, *be* loved. A blend of fairy tales and mythology that is utterly breathtaking. The end had me in tears. Note perfect.
Date published: 2015-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolutely beautifully written book Cruel beauty is a beautifully written retelling of the classic fairytale beauty and the beast. This book was nothing of what I expected, yes there is the 'beauty' and yes there is the 'beast' but this is nothing like the story we were told. Nyx is by far one of the best characters I read about in a long time, she is strong-willed, brave and determined yet angry at the same time. Then again I guess I would be too if my father decided to sell me off as a sacrifice. Her father made a deal with the Gentle Lord( the evil ruler of their kingdom) to allow his wife to bear children in exchange for one of his daughters. His wife died during child birth with Nyx and her twin sister. Being the less loved child of her father, Nyx's fate has always been decided- at 18 she would be sent to be the wife of the Gentle Lord. She has been prepared her whole life to defeat the Gentle Lord and rid the kingdom of their curse, and when the time comes killing the Gentle Lord won't be as easy as she thought. Then there is the Gentle Lord better known as Ignifex. I absolutely loved him. He is portrayed as an evil villain who has taken numerous lives without a second thought. Of course nothing ever is as it seems and he is not what I thought he would be. Honestly, when I read the back of the book I was instantly hooked yet scared that it would disappoint me. I thought maybe it was going to be a simple retelling with loads of cliches. Thankfully it was not. The storyline was phenomenal along with the characters and the setting. Everything about this book was perfect. You can connect with both the characters because unlike many other books they are realistic and make mistakes. Nyx I found to be a lot like me because she was always determined and scared to fail for her family but at the same time didn't want to give up what she wanted. Ignifex was misjudged and hated the monster he had become. This book was unpredictable and although I didn't quite understand the ending fully it didn't bother me. Cruel Beauty was perfect I couldn't get enough of it and It will definitely be a reread for me. Favourite quote: “'Why is he scared of the dark?" I meant the words for a joke, but Shade nodded seriously. "Like all monsters. Because it reminds him of what he truly is".”
Date published: 2015-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read I really enjoyed this book. I liked the new take on beauty and the beast. I could not put it down!
Date published: 2015-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Human This novel has taught me that we can't entirely be good or evil. We have to accept being a little bit of both. Great read and spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast.
Date published: 2015-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of the best books I read this year! I absolutely loved loved this book! It has been a while since I read a book, I just couldn't put down. It is an easy read, I literally flew by the pages and ending up finished the book in a few hours. The characters were awesome, I loved nyx, ignifex, and shade. The characters were all well developed, and so was the world. The ending was just insane, I defiantly didn't not see that coming. I am kind of sad that we don't get to see more of the story in a second book, but I do think that the author ended it well. I will be pre-ordering the second book crimson bound.
Date published: 2015-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New Favourite! I absolutely loved this book. I picked it up yesterday and couldn't put it down. I finished it in no time at all and have been thoroughly blown away. The story kind of reminds me of Howl's Moving Castle for some reason, but this novel was filled with so many twists and turns that it always keeps you guessing as to what will happen on the next page. Excellent book, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a creative story to escape into for a while.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glues Your Eyes Onto the Pages! Cruel. Drastic. Love Story. From the very first page till the very last, Cruel Beauty has been like a complete addiction; keeping me on edge at all times and having my eyes glued right onto every page! I just wished the story wouldn't have ended so soon! Since childhood I have adored the Beauty and the Beast story. As for Cruel Beauty I had jumped into conclusion and assumed that it was like any other version of Beauty and the Beast. Surely this novel has definitely proved me wrong! Honestly this book was so different from many novels I have read. Uniquely everything throughout this story just fits perfectly. It brings the story of Beauty and the Beast to a whole new spectrum, which I absolutely loved! Though I've had many accurate predictions throughout the story, the ending just left me speechless. I predicted it would have been a sad and disastrous ending, where author Rosamond Hodge had ended the story where the couple; Nyx and her beloved, were doomed of love for each other. I am so happy she did not! The ending was a perfect balance, a satisfying meal! As well as the overall outcome of the book! I love the plot, the characters, the writing, most importantly the ending! "I love you more than any other creature, because you are cruel, and kind, and alive." "Where you go, I shall go; where you die, I shall die, and there will I be buried."
Date published: 2015-01-03
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 5 out of 5 by from Will so read again. I enjoyed this book so much. A new twist on everything, different from anything I have read before. I couldn't help but keep turning the pages. The ending was wonderful. The dark side of this story left me entranced at the different perspective. I have a feeling this book will be better the second time through.
Date published: 2014-03-18
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 4 out of 5 by from AWESOME!!!!!! At the end it was confusing but overall good.:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
Date published: 2014-02-06
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

Editorial Reviews

“[A] fast-paced romantic fantasy.”