Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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.



I am in love with this book, so, so much. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. 

Cruel Beauty has such a wonderful blend of Beauty and the Beast retelling and Greek mythology, with a heart breaking love story and a dark tale that basically stabs you in the heart constantly. Its also my favourite book of the year – so far.

It managed to have me at the edge of my seat, constantly, and I couldn’t put it down at all! I was with my friends at the same time I was with Nyx and her problems – literally, I was reading while I was with my friends. I was so unsociable until I finished the book. I just loved it so much. 

The main character – Nyx, is such a strong and brave, witty – I loved her responses sometimes – character, as well as angry and bitter. Her whole life she was bought up preparing to defeat the Gentle Lord – the evil ruler of the kingdom – since her father made a deal with him before Nyx and her twin sister were born. This happened because their mother couldn’t conceive a child, therefore their father foolishly bargained with the Lord to grant them children and in return he promised one of their daughters would marry him as soon as she turned 17. During childbirth, Nyx’s mother died giving birth to her twin, therefore Nyx has been trained to avenge her mother’s death. Nyx is defiant and tests the Lord’s patience and she’s doesn’t play by his rules. She was such a great protagonist. 

Then there’s Ignifex – The gentle Lord. He has terrorised the kingdom for the past nine hundred years. Nyx soon realises things aren’t as simple as they seem with him. His humour was the best – I love villains that are constantly witty and hilarious. Most of the characters of this book are so unique, there are so many layers to these characters and they never once seemed simple and cliche. The way the story is written I started to believe that the protagonist was the antagonist and vice versa because of how much I was falling in love with the antagonist. 

It was just such an unexpected story, I thought I had it figured out half way through, but things constantly kept changing and by the end I was a mess – I’m still quite unsure of the ending, but I’m sure I know what happened. It had one of those endings. Its one of those books that made me question the whole story line again and again. Its literally something I’ve never read before, and I loved everything about the book, the setting, the story and the characters are just so powerful and well written. Then there’s that whole haunting bittersweet tone that you see and feel throughout the novel. 



One thought on “Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is my favorite book and a feel ya. I love everything about it and so far it’s my favorite retelling. By the way go check Rosamund’s other book and short stories the short stories are fab-
    In the end I hated Astraia, always to cute.
    When I finished the book I cried for two days, and now that I think about it, its was so funny because I finished it on Christmas eve XD

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