Posted by Ashley K
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 was nothing like I thought it was going to be. Beauty and the Beast is actually my favorite fairy tale so I was extremely pumped to find a retelling of it.I guess I understand where they got the "retelling" part. There is a beast. There is a girl. There is love. But that is where the similarities really end for me.
This story is heavy with Greek mythology. This something I really enjoy interlaced within the different things I read. It worked with the story that Hodge has given us. It is what makes the story "tick" so to speak. Stemming from the mythology everything about our characters is formed. Even the beast , though he is considered a demon in this story.
I guess I love the slow love of Beauty and the Beast, and how it unfolds. I love how Bell falls for him because she sees who he is inside and what he is trying to hide. I felt like our main characters here just lust after it each other and suddenly it is considered lovc. There was nothing that made me aww or sigh. Nothing very romantic. That is the essence of the original to me and this just lacks it.
This book is just dark. There is not much, if any joy for any of the characters. They live in a sad and desperate world. They characters are driven by revenge. There is not much depth to them. Maybe Nyx has a little more to her then anyone else in the book, but it was still not enough to make me feel connected through the entire book.
Cruel Beauty is by no means boring. I just expected more Beauty and the Beast aspects, and found there where not all that many. It is dark and eery, and full of twists and turns. I just didn't connect with this one, so I just can't give it more then a 3.