Cruel Beauty


Rating: 3 Stars
Published: January 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Favorite Quote:

“He’s a monster,” I said. “Maybe I’m a monster to pity him. But I can’t leave him.”

Nyx Triskelion has always known it’s her duty to marry the Gentle Lord.  She’s known since her father began teaching her how to defeat him. Nyx always knew she needed to kill him to avenge her mother and the entire city of Arcadia. What she didn’t know was that she would want to save him.  She didn’t know things would be more complicated than they seemed.

This Beauty & the Beast retelling is quite something. I want to read more Rosamund Hodge. I like the way her mind works and I want to discover more.  I’m a sucker for fairy tale / folk tale retellings. I’m compelled to read them.

I don’t love it. And I definitely don’t hate it. I’m kind of ambivalent but in a more positive way. I think it’s an interesting retelling.  There were parts of it that I could see coming and others that I couldn’t guess at all.

I love that Nyx wasn’t a perfect character. I loved all her flaws and her hatred, and especially the love.  “But I was a girl who had broken her sister’s heart and – for a moment- like it.  I had left somebody in torment and liked it.” She was complicated and the perfect kind of heroine for me. I couldn’t really get a handle on the Ignifex character.  He didn’t feel complete to me.  Something was missing. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to be feel whole but he did feel a little fake and that didn’t settle well with me. It made him unbelievable.

I loved that she kept the element of the rose still in play.  I loved how that worked out.  Same with the mirror.  The key elements of the story are all still involved which is wonderful.  That made me really happy. I loved the ending. I loved the transformation since it wasn’t just of the Beast character.

Pandora’s box made things a tad confusing but very interesting.  I wasn’t expecting mythology to come into play so that was a pleasant but slightly confusing surprise.

It’s weird, in parts, I really do love this story.  But somehow when I think back on it, I don’t get that overwhelming sense of love that I do with other books that I rave about.  I mean, granted, there are many different types of love even with books. And I do love all the elements of this book but it wasn’t perfect for me.  It may be for some but not for me.  I think it was still a completely worthwhile read, especially if you love fairy tale retellings like I do.  I am very much looking forward to Crimson Bound.  And no, it’s not part of this same universe. It’s just another retelling (and you know I can’t stay away from those).


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