Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published Date: Jan 28, 2014
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.
Cruel Beauty is one dark, twisted retelling of Beauty and a Beast. I am not sure how to correctly describe its premise, but it is a mix of magic, historical fiction and greek mythology. Ofcourse there's the course of romance in here. I enjoyed the first chapters, but I found myself bored and just skimming the latter which I found ironic since the said climax (and exciting parts) are found on the 150 + pages of the book.So what I expected was like this:
What we got is a strong, tough, obstinate heroine, Nyx. (Nyx is the goddess of Night? I mean in greek myth she's Night also the mother of Tartarus? OMG Too much Percy Jackson) We got to meet Nyx, the MC, who is to marry the Gentle Lord (a demon). The arrangement started from a bargain between his Nyx's father & the Gentle Lord. Since then, Nyx started to loath everyone around her. She believed that her fate is to be killed and not to be the hero that everyone is expecting her to be. She fakes all smile and control her anger from chewing her into a mess of crude words. But just like any other person, she could be bent to the extreme until she broke. She has her demons and that's the thing that Ignifex (Gentle Lord) loves the most about her.
Huh? Gentle Lord loving a mortal? A demon LOVING A MORTAL. Ha? Ha? Oh hell yes. Despite his arrogant demeanor, the Gentle Lord has a past that taut & haunts him. That is what made my interest waver. There's so much alien words (except for the Greek terminologies) that were served in the platter for the readers to absorb all at once. It's like running in a marathon, I know I am way way way way behind, but I still keep catching up until I couldn't bare it anymore. The pacing was smooth, placid, but terms and legends just baffled me. TOO MUCH.
The romance made my head swam in utter nuisance. Basically because Nyx and Ignifex goes from "I AM GOING TO KILL YOU" to "I LOVE YOU" then they'll go back to taunting and threatening each other again then back to the I LOVE YOU's. That's why I said earlier, I can't keep up. But in the end they go:
Cruel Beauty? This perfectly fits both main characters. Because behind those beautiful faces, strong-willed persona hides their wicked & dark characters. Made the readers realize that monster or not, anyone can have their own versions of happily ever after. Overall, it was an engrossing and enjoyable read (at first), it just failed to keep my attention in place. Greek mythology, Greek&Rome legends & magic in one standalone book can bring turbulence, but the beauty of this book is that it was blessed with bewitching - almost magical prose.