Monday, 20 April 2015

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

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 seventeenth 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 nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all 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. 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.

-- description --

First of all, the cover is absolutely stunning! I actually regret not buying this book in hardback, but well, I'll survive. As I'm sure is quite evident from my many blog posts, fairy tale retellings are kind of my thing. I love Once Upon a Time and The Lunar Chronicles are one of my favourite young adult series! So it must not come as a surprise to you that I needed to read this book. And I wasn't disappointed. I didn't really know what to expect from this one, though. I've read some very good reviews and a heard it being described as a quite dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast. To say that I was intrigued is quite the understatement. Since I found out about this book, I've been pining for it. And now I've finally read it. Let me tell you, I could not put this book down! And since this was not the best of times to be so engrossed in a book, I still couldn't care less. I needed to finish this Cruel Beauty. So I did.
There are quite a lot of mythological references in this book, which I loved, since I'm currently taking a class on classical mythology (which is actually my favourite course this semester) I was able to understand all the details and references with ease.
I adored this book and I give it 4 (almost 4,5) out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of fairy tale retellings. Don't hesitate to pick it up!

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