Monday, January 6, 2014

A Tale As Old As Time

"I should have known...Why did I ever think that I would get to keep what I loved?"
--Rosamund Hodge, Cruel Beauty

Genre: YA Fantasy, Re-Telling
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 352 pages
Publication Date: January 28th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
Goodreads Description

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.
My Thoughts

The Belle
Soooo, I had really high expectations for this book. Beauty and the Beast is my absolute FAVORITE story of all time. Obviously, I have a love for blog name and I was SO FREAKIN' EXCITED to read this when I got it from Edelweiss...but maybe my expectations were too high..Ok, let me try to break this down. This is going to be a very mixed review because there were aspects I love but overall, it was the execution that killed it for me.

The World. The world building is impeccable and seriously amazing. The world Rosamund Hodge creates is a fantasy lovers dream. The Greek mythology interweaving with their belief system is unique and so brilliant. I loved how she used that influence in the story and weaved together fantasy and legends.

The Heroine. Nyx is kickass. She's a shoots-then-looks kind of girl. She is quick to fight back and shoot off her mouth. Needless to say, I loved her. She has lived her entire life in defense of her family and her entire being is buils upon the fact that she is to marry and then kill him in order to release the dictatorship hold he has over her town. I love her strength and I found her irrational behavior at times to be very realistic and understandable...however, there were parts of her character that didn't mesh well with me...see below.

The Ending. The ending is amazing. How things happen and what goes down I could not put the book down or read fast enough. The only thing that could have made it better were if I had more emotional attachment to the characters. I loved the ending but it would have been WAY MORE if I was feeling along with them.

The Beast

The Heroine. I did not love most of Nyx's emotional reactions to things. I felt like her emotional attachment to Shade and Ignifex was too quick and transitioned without a lot of emotional foundation. While a lot of time may have passed, there wasn't anything written in order to build up the emotional attachment. They may have been co-existing but this is a book, I need to read about how they are feeling and why I should be attached to them and rooting for them.

The Hero. Overall, I liked Ignifex but I wanted more. I saw his character as so complex and intriguing and I so wanted, no NEEDED, more of him emotionally. More development and into his head juuuust a bit. I wanted to fall in love with these characters individually and then together and it just didn't happen. 

The Emotions. I wanted a sweeping love story that had my heart racing and my chest hurting and unfortunately, I just didn't get that. It fell short.I am quite sad I didn't connect more with these characters. Trust me, I wanted to! I really, really did but it just didn't happen. 

Should You RSVP To This Ball? 

Maybe. If you're looking for a story to take the place of the beloved Beauty and the Beast--look elsewhere. If you want an amazing world with pretty good characters--this is for you. 


  1. I LOVE Beauty & the Beast! So I'm glad you gave a heads up about this one, I'll be able to go into it without such high expectations when I get around to it.

  2. I'm still not sure what to make of this one! I've heard all kinds of reviews for it, so I guess I might just have to read it for myself. Like you, I was extremely excited about it because, hello, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST inspired story! I'm sorry to hear about the lack of connection with the characters though :(

  3. sorry you didn't love it! I've been wanting to read this for quite some time now. I love beauty and the beast. I also love the cover of this book! I'll just make sure I don't have high hopes for it (:


  4. Bummer that you didn't love it! I am going to be reading this one soon. Either my next book or the one after. I've been super pumped for it, but now I'm a little nervous. I'm glad that the world-building is done really well though. I hate when that aspect of a book is lacking. But what I hate even more is underdeveloped characters or characters I can't connect with. :(

  5. This book was it for me, but I think it really depends on expectations and taste. This book is: hate or love and I was the last one. The world-building, characters, I love it all. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I did!


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