Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review : Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Balzer + Bray

Release DateApril 7, 2015
Pages: 368
Source: Own

The Story:

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
For fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.
Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.
via Amazon


My Review

Tag Line:

Her mission was to kill him.

Her destiny was to love him.

Opening Line:

I was raised to marry a monster.


Cruel Beauty was not at all what I was expecting. Even for a Beauty and the Beast retelling. A twist on the classic tale I was open to. But, Hodge's version was not appealing. There was too much going on at once to really be focused on the story. Too many varying elements -- the 
Beauty and the Beast retelling, folklore, Greco-Roman landscapes and mythology.

The pacing of Cruel Beauty was slow for me. The story was already bogged down by all the different elements then the pacing did not at least give off a good speed with juicy bits of plot. In my opinion, the world-building was lacking. The imagery was not detailed enough for me to be submersed in the story. Top that with the complex, far-reaching elements, made jumping in and staying put in the story difficult. As for the overall writing, it Hodge's style was ordinary. Nothing really popped out at me.

All in all, while Cruel Beauty was not awful, it simply was not my cup of tea. I have the sequel but I am in no hurry to read it.

Character Breakdown:

Nyx - I appreciated that her character was a wilting flower. She has her demons and took stock of them. 

Ignifex - I still don't know how I feel about Ignifex's character . . . 

Here is one of my favorite quotes from 
Cruel Beauty:

I knew it was insane to be happy, to feel this desperate exultation at his words. But I felt like I had been waiting all my life to hear them. I had been waiting, all my life, for someone undeceived to love me. And now he did, and it felt like walking into the dazzling sunlight of the Heart of Earth. Except that the sunlight was false, and his love was real. -- page 236

Meet the Author:

Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could lay hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She got a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in Medieval English from Oxford, and she now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. Visit her on the web at

***Check out Rosamund Hodges' website for more information about her and Cruel BeautyHERE

Happy Reading!


Post a Comment