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Cruel Beauty [Hardcover]

Rosamund Hodge
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.61
Price: 10.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen (28 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062224735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062224736
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Review originally published on my blog, StudentSpyglass.com

I was cautiously optimistic about Cruel Beauty. Optimistic because it sounded wonderful and I’ve heard great things about it, but cautious because I wasn’t sure whether it would live up to all the hype. While I hoped I’d enjoy it, I never dreamed it would be a new favourite, and I certainly didn’t expect to absolutely love it the way I did.

Nyx has spent her whole life preparing for marriage to a monster. She’s known for years that she has to marry the Gentle Lord as payment for a trade her father made before her birth. She’s been trained in the Hermetic arts in the hopes of one day killing him, knowing it’ll likely take her life as well. She’s an absolutely fantastic character, and one you can’t help but love. She’s feisty, determined, sarcastic and witty. She’s a dutiful daughter and a willing sacrifice. Despite all that, she’s by no means perfect. She gets angry, and bitter, and sometimes she hates everyone for expecting so much of her. She’s impulsive and sometimes she wants to defy her duty and do her own thing. She’s completely believable and three-dimensional which is what makes it so easy to like her.

Ignifex, as he’s known to Nyx, is the Gentle Lord. Ruler of the kingdom, commander of the demons and master of evil bargains, Nyx doesn’t know what to expect, but it certainly isn’t a suave (but arrogant), handsome gentleman. Ignifex has a sharp tongue and a sharper wit, and above all he’s entertaining to read.

There is a love triangle in Cruel Beauty, but it didn’t particularly bother me, perhaps because I thought it was obvious where it was going!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weird and confusing! 31 Jan 2014
By Sarah
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Nyx has been raised to marry a monster – the Gentle Lord who rules over the village where she lives. An old rhyme gives her twin sister hope that she will slay the beast on her wedding night and return to her, but Nyx has little faith that she will achieve this. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the monster, and actually want to be married to him.
Can Nyx break the enchantment over her village? And was the sky always the colour of parchment?

This book was weird. Just weird.

Nyx was such an odd character. She seemed to like causing other people pain, and would intentionally say things designed to hurt people, especially the people she loved. She also seemed to like inflicting pain on herself, why else would she fall in love with a monster? And not just any monster – a monster that she has sworn to kill, has been raised to kill! A monster who she claimed to hate, a monster who caused the death of her own mother!

The storyline in this was also weird. We had aspects of beauty and the beast, we had a touch of Rumplestiltskin and other fairy tales mixed in, and we also had mythology in there, with stories about Pandora! The storyline was complicated and confusing, and while at times I enjoyed parts of it, at other points I was really bored.

The romance was bizarre. After being sent to kill her new husband and failing, she claims to hate him, and then when something happens and all she needs to do is step back and watch him die, she saves him and decides that she loves him! I mean where did that come from? I just can’t fathom this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME 25 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
What a fantastic book this was! It may be called YA, but I think it's one of the most grown-up books I've read in the genre. Mesmerizing, dark, magical, and such an interesting mixture of different mythologies and fairytales (Greek/hermetic/Beauty and the Beast/Rumpelstiltskin). I immediately ordered the other book set in this world (Gilded Ashes) and can't wait to read that too. I'm so happy that this book lived up to its promise. If you think fairytale retellings are boring because you already know the story, then pick up this book. You will be blown away!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel Beauty 13 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Since birth Nyx has known she will be sacrificed to the Gentle Lord because of a bargain her father made, and she loves yet resents her sister, Astraia, as she is the daughter her father chose to live. On her 17th birthday Nyx is married to the Gentle Lord and is sent to live with him in his castle. However, she has a plan, as with her Hermetic powers she must find a way to break the 900 year old curse on the people of Arcadia. But the Gentle Lord, also known as Ignifex, and the castle are not what she imagined and she finds herself drawn to him as she does not have to hide who she is. Is Nyx able to complete her mission to destroy Ignifex even as she grows to love him?

Cruel Beauty is an enjoyable YA book but I found it hard to connect to and it seemed too complicated. The book is kind of based on Beauty and the Beast but only loosely, and I felt it was more inspired by Pandora and other mythologies.

I found it hard to like Nyx as she was not a nice person, I could understand why but it did make it hard to connect to her, plus she was so conflicted and the whole book was her having an inner battle with herself. Ignifex is a mysterious character as you could see how evil and heartless he is yet at some points he was sweet and kind of compassionate, and he reminded a lot of The Darkling from the Grisha series.

This is a good book but it was let down by the characters, I would recommend Cruel Beauty people who want to read a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a unique mythology.
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