12 January 2015

[Review] "Cruel Beauty" by Rosamund Hodge

 Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Series: Cruel Beauty Companion Series #1
 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.
This song is originally from the new adaptation of "the Beauty and Beast" with Lea Seydoux. I really enjoyed the movie and this song even more, it is so beautiful. But it did not quite connected with this book, because it was a totally diffrent atmosphere. And my Gentle Lord was even hotter than...the other beast xD
Actually, I wanted to write this review a little bit earlier (I finished the book on November 4th xD). But I just finished the book eleven o’clock in the morning, so I think it is not necessary to apologize. Let’s say I was not able to find the right words before, but now I am highly motivated and willing to write an as good review as I can.
I think it is not necessary to admit the incredibly beautiful cover of this book. The stairs which flows into a red rose and a girl in a red dress running down the stairs into the middle of the rose..guys, it is just awesome. I also very liked the thing that the cover also has something to do with the story, like sometimes you have a beautiful cover, but it has nothing to do with the actual story. But this cover has something to do with it.
Yeah, let’s talk about the story. I picked this book up with the expectation I would find a retelling of my all-time-favorite fairytale “Beauty and the Beast”. But, oh my goodness, it was so much more than that and it that’s why the book did not lived up to my expectation, it exceeded it! It was like a crazy, absolutely surprising mix of Greece mythology and fairytales, love (triangle) and unraveling an interesting world. I think it is not a book for everyone, because it is a very specific storyline and world, and I think some people might not like it, but I absolutely adored it!
One of the reasons I found this book so incredibly beautiful is Rosamund Hodge’s writing style. She has such a wonderful way to make descriptions and create a whole new world. I literally flew throw the pages, because this book was so well written and gripping. Hodge managed to create a thrilling, mysterious atmosphere in her book. It was as unique as the world and I really enjoyed her style of writing.
Another aspect was the storyline. Like I said, I expected it to be a nice retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” with some new ideas, but mostly nothing new. Oh Jesus…I was so wrong. This book has a bunch of good and new ideas, ideas I have read before, but never in a connection. It might sound insane, but the mix of mythology and some popular fairytales, like, obviously “Beauty and the Beast” , “Rapunzel”, and “Rumpelstilzen”, worked for me. I liked the way Hodge was willing to try something different and new. I also find myself enjoying the storyline. Slowly all the mystery and unknown aspects unraveled during the story, but it I was never bored by it. It just gave me time to understand the complex world of the book. The book mostly focused on the world, the description, and on the characters. Mostly they focused therefore on the development of their characters instead of the love story/love triangle. 
It basically is about this seventeen old girl named Nyx who has to marry the Gentle Lord, a demon king, who rules the kingdom, Acardia, she lives in. She has to marry this man who calls himself Ignifex, because her father has made up a bargain before her birth and now she has to sacrifices herself as the price for this. 
Nyx was a very difficult character, mostly because she was so authentic. I mean, I think it is really realistic how she acts in this book. Her father sacrifices her instead of her twin sister Astraia and do not even love or respect her for that. Her mother died because of Astraia, and now Nyx has to avenge her mother. She has to marry the Gentle Lord, knowing that she would not survive the wedding night if she could make it that far. She both loves and hates her sister and her family, she has a lot of poison and hate in her heart, she is a bit wicked and mostly in a bad mood. But I think that is the way I would also feel when I were her. She have been raised without love, in the knowledge to die at the age of seventeen because she seemed to be less loveable than her sister…I do not think there is any space for love or justice in her heart.
No matter, I liked Nyx very much. I felt very connected to her. When she starts to unravel the world (and her feelings) she was always so relatable. She knew that she is not perfect, but she did not cry about it the whole time instead of finding a way to deal with it. Because that it was live means: to deal with all the hate and the sorrow and the imperfection of yourself. 
And that is one of the main things this book wants to tell you. No matter how imperfect you are, how sad or hated or terrified…there will always be someone who loves you just the way you are, who loves you because you are what you are. This is the development of our both main character, Nyx and “Ignifex”.  And this development was really beautiful to see.
I do not want to say much about the Gentle Lord who called himself Ignifex. Go, read the book and unravel by yourself why I fell in love with him and shipped him and Nyx. He and Nyx together were just hilarious on the one hand; on the other hand they were nothing but incredibly cute together. Guys, even there is a little love triangle (which didn’t bother as much as I expected) you just can see that Nyx and Ignifex belong together. But go and read that by yourself!
 The only thing, that really bothered me was the end of this book. Everything was just so perfect until page 294 and then things got weird. Sure, the end was okay and acceptable, but I really had hoped for more than just an “okay” end. Nevertheless this book is total worth reading it.
I just feel like most people loved this book. I think you can only hate or love this book. I absolutely adored it! But it is really difficult to write a good review, because I have no idea what I should say about it. I went into the story without knowing anything about it and I was amazed. So I think all I finally can say is that you all should go and read this book, because if you like fairytales, Greece mythology or just good love stories in a fascinating world I highly recommend this book to you.
So, all in all, I think I would like to give this book 4,5 at a 5 stars, because of the ending. Nevertheless I cannot wait for “Crimson Bound” now! 


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  2. Wahh, and another try. Hopefully this time without spelling mistakes.

    The "love it or hate it" thing is exactly my problem. I could buy the book, love it and be happy. I could buy the book, not like it and be very disappionted. That is why I will wait for the paperback version. The ebook is pricely okay with 6 € but as you say, the cover is beautiful! So the ebook is not an option ;D

    1. Haha, no problem^^

      Oh yeah, I totally agree! I wish I could tell you if you'd like the book, but I'm not sure at all. It depends how you deal with kinda insta-love and a terrible ending. So I'd recommend the paperback version :D When it will be out? *too lazy to look it up on amazon* I really hope you'll like it. But like I said: It's hate or love^^

    2. Hmm insta-love and terrible ending sound really bad for me :-/ Though I will try and see myself. It will be out in April 2015, not too much time to wait now.