Book Review #30 : Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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SERIES : Cruel Beauty Universe
PAGES: 346
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2014
ISBN13 : 9780062224736
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy
DATE READ: May 11, 2016
GOODREADS RATING: 3.76
PERSONAL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
“You cannot save anyone unless you know the truth.”
📚 Synopsis 📚
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 17th 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 900-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiled her, and his castle – a shifting maze of magical rooms – enthralled 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.
©Goodreads
📖  M Y   T H O U G H T S 📖
📚 Setting 📚
Arcadia is known as a cursed kingdom ruled by a demon lord. He has this very bad habit of bargaining with its people in exchange of granting their wishes but taking away something or someone valuable to them afterwards. I expected a lot from this book because it is fantasy themed. Surprisingly, I am not disappointed. I like the place but the description is too detailed and the author did not give me the chance to use my imagination to the fullest. Another place that was discussed in the story is the demon lord’s kingdom which is full of mysteries and supernatural beings. I enjoyed it a lot. I like the way I cringed whenever Nyx Triskelion is about to open a new door or discover a new part of the house.
📚 Characters 📚
Nyx Triskelion is a prim and proper young lady with a dash of badass attitude! She is destined to marry the demon lord because of her father’s selfish agreement with him. She is fierce, intelligent and beautiful. Her character is easy to love although she has a very sharp mouth! She is not afraid of the enemy, instead, she sees him as a challenge. I love her bubblyness and flexibility. She is the perfect mixture of beauty and brain.
Ignifex the demon lord. He is witty and mysterious. People of Arcadia are very much aware of his evil doings so they ask for his help out of despair. He can give everything that they ask for in exchange of something horrid.
Nyx and Ignifex are both villainous yet hopeless romantic. They complement each other so much and are fascinated with each other’s existence.
📚 Writing Style and Plot 📚
The writing style is exceptional. It is well-written but some scenarios are too detailed. Like what I  mentioned earlier, my imagination was not given the chance to function well. Everything was written and described, it’s like being spoon fed. But other than that I like the way it was narrated, the 1st person narration/point of view is always my favorite. It is easy for me to get into the character’s head and search deeper for their thoughts. The words used are easy to understand. The author did not make it hard for the readers which is a major factor for me because I easily get bored whenever deep words are being used. The story is fast-paced. The plot is decent enough. This is a retelling of the famous fairy tale, The Beauty and the Beast and th resemblance is there. I like the twists and turn out of events but sometimes I get lost. There are certain parts in the story that I did not understand quite well so I have to repeat reading the whole scene. I don’t know why from one specific scene, the story will jump to another one without giving the reader some answers and proper closure. It is kind of confusing especially during the last few chapters and after Nyx woke up after saving the cursed prince. You have to internalize well to be able to grasp the idea and the message of the story.
📚 Overall Rating 📚
All in all it is great and amazing in its own way! I like it so much but I can’t stop myself from comparing it to Miss Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses which I was able to read first. They are both retellings but they differ in so many ways. Both are well-crafted and executed. This is my first Rosamund Hodge book read and I did have a very fantastic experience indulging in her fantasy world. I highly recommend this to readers who are fond of young adult fantasy books. A ☆☆☆☆/5.
📚 Conclusion 📚
I discovered a lot of lessons in the story. First, no matter what, a person should not turn his back to his family. Like how the saying goes, Blood will always be thicker than water. Next, we can’t choose who to love and be happy with. Even though Nyx loathes the demon lord so badly, she still fell for him. And lastly, courage is the ultimate key to defeat the enemy. Wisdom will always be needed but at the end of the day, it is courage that will matter.
📚 Favorite Lines 📚
🔖 They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense. But now I knew that every mad word was true.
🔖 But my family I had always had a duty to love, no matter how they had wronged me.
🔖 From nothing into nothing how swiftly we return.
🔖Though changed I rise again the same.
🔖 Duty is bitter to taste but sweet to drink.
🌸 xoxo, Janna 🌸
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