by Rosamund HodgeGenre: Fantasy Release Date:
January 28, 2014 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Source: Publisher Add it: Goodreads Rating:
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.
I went into Cruel Beauty expecting great things. It’s been talked about all over the blogosphere. Every time I go onto Twitter people are fangirling over it, and recommending it to others. I was expecting a wonderfully dark story with Beauty and the Beast connections. Instead, all I got was a confusing novel that almost seemed nonsensical at times.
The beginning of the novel was very intriguing. I quickly became invested in the world that Hodge created, with the mythological tie-ins and the deals that had been struck with demons. The first fifty or so pages were fantastic, and I cannot fault them. Unfortunately, after those fifty pages, the book takes a nosedive.
Once Nyx goes to the ‘Beast’s’ castle and meets Ignifex is when everything essentially goes to shit. A love triangle is introduced, there is instalove concerning all parties (although mostly when it comes to Nyx), the story becomes confusing and weird, and very little of it makes sense.
One moment Nyx is trying to kill Ignifex, the next they’re shagging and wanting to marry. I don’t know about you, but I think it was a bit farfetched. Maybe if the book had been longer, we could have had a lot more build up over the months that Nyx was in the castle. Instead it felt very rushed, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters at all.
I didn’t find Ignifex hot, either, which surprised me. Normally I like the dark, broken, sarcastic characters, but Ignifex and I just didn’t hit it off. I found him boring, and also a bit of an arsehole. I don’t understand why Nyx was attracted to him in the first place. I was actually kind of hoping that she would end up killing him like she set out to do.
I did, however, enjoy the mythology that was entwined with the story. I wasn’t expecting it, and it came as a nice surprise. I love me some Greek mythology! It worked very well with the world building, and it gave the story a nice edge.
Cruel Beauty was an unexpectedly disappointing read, and I wish I could have loved it like everyone else did so I could join in with the fangirling. There was a lot of potential there, but I think the stupid instalove and the somewhat confusing backstory are what ruined it for me.