Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28th, 2014
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Audiobook from
Pages: 346

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

For 900 years, Arcadia has been cursed and closed off from the rest of the world under a parchment skied dome. Since her birth, Nyx has been betrothed to Ignifex, the demon lord. Her father made a bargain with the demon lord and in exchange for the bargain, Nyx had to be betrothed to him. After the bargain goes south, she is trained to take the demon lord down. When she turns seventeen, a wedding ceremony is held without him and she is taken to his castle and left to die.

Nyx is really bitter about being sent to marry the demon king for her father's mistakes. She hates him for making her do this and never trying to save her. She hates her sister for being the twin that her father chose to keep. She kind of hates herself for feeling that way toward her sister.

She really just has a lot of pent up anger. She doesn't ever really have any nice thoughts, but I can't say that I blame her. If I was forced to marry a demon lord, I can't say that I would be happy about it either.

I did not like Nyx's family. I thought maybe Astraya wasn't so bad in the beginning when she's all sweet and innocent and I thought that that would be the end of her. But when Nyx gets to meet with her again, I almost found her to be cruel. I didn't like the change in her.

I didn't like Nyx's father because he is the one who made this shoddy bargain with Ignifex and he's forcing Nyx to go through with this to avenge her mother and take out the demon lord and pretty much die so everyone else can be free. None of that is her fault and he's sentencing her to that and that's not fair. You go marry the demon lord, you jerk! Don't make deals if you can't handle the results!

Ignifex, I think he gets a bad wrap. I don't think that he's as bad as everyone makes him out to be. No one seems to like him because of the bargains that he makes with people that all end up poorly. But still people keep going back wanting to make more bargains? That's not all on him. And serves some of them right for getting poor results with their bargains because they're not asking for good things.

I thought that Ignifex was really charming! For being some awful demon lord, he was really sweet and kind to her and patient with her and just I liked him so much!

I did end up liking the romance in this book, but I thought it was weird in the beginning. There are two people in the castle besides her, Ignifex and Shade. Shade is someone who has been cursed for 900 years along with Ignifex to be his shadow and do his bidding. Nyx ends up kissing them both, but I felt like most of the kisses in this book were SO random and seemed to come out of nowhere. Like they were magnets that got too close to each other and just randomly kissed. "Oops, we got too close, I guess we're kissing." And the fact that Shade and Nyx kissed is what caused Shade to be able to talk to her? Why????? I don't know if it's a problem I have with the book or just something that I didn't get the full effect of because I listened to it.

I loved when Nyx and Ignifex finally started to be more together. I thought they were so cute together. And at one point, I was almost certain that his real name had to be Rumplstiltskin because every night before bed, Ignifex asked her if she wanted to guess what his real name was.

I listened to this as an audiobook and this is the book that really sealed the deal that fantasy books are not the kind of books I can listen to as an audiobook. I know I did not get the full effect of this book at all! I quite enjoyed the book, but I got really confused trying to follow along with the ending and I'm not really sure what happened. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie ever so I will have no problem buying a real copy of this book and trying to get more out of it.

Overall, even without getting the full effect of the book, I think that any fan of the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, will love this book! The story was fantastic and I am quite excited to get a real copy of the book and actually read it.


  1. This sounds very promising! I love Beauty and the Beast and stories with Nyx are most of the time very interesting. I added it to my TBR list. Thank you for your review! :)

    1. Glad I could convince you! Beauty and the Beast stories are fantastic! I hope you love it if you get the chance to read it! :)


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