Cruel Beauty

cruel beauty

Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published: 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Rating: A –

Cruel Beauty is the first book in a new fairytale retelling series by Rosamond Hodge.

Before she was born, Nyx’s father made a deal with the Gentle Lord that on her seventeenth birthday she would marry him. Long ago, the Gentle Lord (aka Ignifex) cursed their village to be separate from the rest of the world and let his demons run rampant. The only way to break the curse is to kill him. So, for all her life Nyx has been training to one day murder her husband. When the day finally arrives, she finds that life as his wife is not exactly what she has expected. It is both more horrifying and better than she had been raised to expect. Now Nyx must balance her conflicting feelings about her husband with her sense of loyalty towards the village.

Cruel Beauty mixes elements from Beauty and the Beast with Blue Beard to create a really dynamic story. Hodge has a dark and lyrical writing style that really helped build-up the slightly skewed atmosphere of the book. I also loved her characterization of Nyx. She was not a perfect flower who gladly took-up the mantle as her village’s savior. It’s something that Nyx is clearly, and understandably, bitter about. Her bitterness offered a nice balance to her deep sense of loyalty to those around her. Her demeanor also made it more understandable that both her and Ignifex would enjoy each other’s company.

My only complaint about the book was the direction it took towards the end with the curse. I had hoped for a more complicated ending rather than the typical Beauty and the Beast final result.

All in all, a great read that I would recommend to fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles or Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series.

Previous Reviews for the Cruel Beauty Universe:
Cruel Beauty
Gilded Ashes (novella)

8 thoughts on “Cruel Beauty

    • Hi Carmel! The cover is very gorgeous! So is the one for the next book. I’m also a huge fan of Little Red Ridinghood retellings. It feels like those are harder to find than Beauty and the Beast ones though. Hope you like Crimson Bound when it comes out! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


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