Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge Book Review

Credits to Katherine for the calligraphy


I think it's already pretty obvious by my blog design that Belle is my favorite, and I am not that well-read on re-tellings of classic fairy tales so I gave Cruel Beauty a try and I absolutely loved most parts of it. *wink*


Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Website: http://www.rosamundhodge.net/cruel-beauty
Published by: Balzer + Bray on 7th April 2015
Genre: Fantasy Retelling (fairy tales & mythologies)
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Copy Source: Bought (Fullybooked)
Purchase: NBS [PH] | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.4 Roses


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.


This book is an intricate story of interwoven mythologies, fairy tales and other enchanting stories. It is good and well thought of. It is dark and twisted but confusing. For me it is a new and refreshing take on Beauty and the Beast and that's what I like most about it, although it's a really, really different story.

In this novel, Belle is named Nyx, and she has a twin sister named Astria (I think, please do correct me if I'm wrong. I tend to forget names easily). Beast is called Ignifex, which is not his real name. There is some hint of Rumpelstiltskin's story blended in this book so Nyx has a choice of guessing Ignifex's name, and when she does, she can have her freedom back. Bearing in mind that this is a retelling, some things are better when it's twisted, so true love's kiss may or may not work. What do you think? I think you need to find out yourself. :D

It's a mind-blowing novel, really effin' twisted to its core. Genius craft, but the ending was a bit too confusing and I did not like it (I don't know if it's not well-thought of or what). It was going great right until the curse was broken, and I think this might be the first time that I loved a book that has a not so great ending and not so great rating for me.

Nyx is not a very strong character in terms of kick-ass-ness. You know, you'd really think that she is since she trained her whole life for the purpose of killing Ignifex, but the training was not physical, damn. But to be fair, she's definitely not your typical damsel in distress. She knows what she have to do but is torn between love and duty; she knows what she's supposed to feel but she's torn between hatred and bond of family. It was kind'a irritating, her fickle mind and indecisiveness,but I guess it's her character. I can't say I love it, but I can't say I hate it either.
Ignifex is supposedly the villain, but mind you, he isn't. It's easy to fall for Ignifex because he is kind and not at all evil; he is vulnerable and and charming and really, really beautiful. I love him I love him I'm in love with him *heartsssss*
I was really doubtful of Shade even from the beginning, I can't trust him. I find it hard to trust a lot of characters in books, because authors are so damn good in making you love a character you will hate in the end *HAHA, ehem to those authors*. But I guess I was both right and wrong to doubt him, and it would do you good to find that out for yourself.

The world was great, but it's kind of confusing and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it but I guess it was okay. I feel like the world is trapped inside a book (like Read Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer)  because of the description of the sky: the world is trapped under a dome of a parchment sky. Again, to be fair, it's not all about the world, because what's fascinating was Ignifex's shifting castle itself. The castle held secrets and doors that should never be opened and things that should never be touched.

I loved how some things unfolded itself, especially when the truth about Nyx's world was revealed, I was sooo mind-blown, I'd have to read it again to wrap my head around it well because I was so shocked at that genius plot-twist. Like OMG!

This was made by my sister, Katherine. She's so great with this, and as a practice, she agreed to write the calligraphies for this blog. So sweet.


The ending was good. but the events that happened before that was *uhhhhh what just happened??*. It's confusing and crazy and I don't know where I was standing at that moment because I was totally lost and I did not like it at all.

It's a great book for me, but with some faults and flaws. Even with those, it was a great debut novel, so congratulations Rosamund Hodge, you did great!  *smiles brightly*

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