Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

15839984 Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 28, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Length: 352 pages
Source: Balzer + Bray (ARC)

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.”


Finally! A book that is as amazing and as beautiful as the cover! Cruel Beauty was mind blowing and all the awesome feels combined. It is a re-telling of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but the author, Hodge, put in a lot of plot twist that left me at the edge of my seat! I read this book all in one day, and I loved everything about it (except the ending, I’ll get on that later…and a few minor things). Let’s talk about that writing style. WOW. I love the way Hodge writes. I felt like I was with the characters the entire book. The world building of Arcadia was just fantastic. She was very descriptive, but not too much that it will bore the readers. I also like how she intertwined Greek mythology, Beauty and the Beast, and her own ideas.

To the characters… I really like the protagonist, Nyx. All her life, she felt unwanted because her father chose her instead of her twin to defeat the Lord of Bargain, Ignifex (which is not his true name). The only thing I didn’t like about Nyx is that she is convinced too quickly. She says “oh I promise to do this”, but she quickly changes her mind when someone talks her out of it. Out of all the characters, my favorite is definitely Ignifex. Ugh. I just love that demonic, bastard beast! He’s just charming and mysterious.

The only thing that made me upset a bit was the ending (I’m talking about you, Chapters 24-26). I was like “what the heck is going on” most of the time. It was confusing and I just didn’t buy what was happening. I was upset because those scenes were supposed to be magical and leaving me in ‘awe’ but instead I found my eyebrows furrowed. Still, I really love Cruel Beauty. It was a very unpredictable story with engaging characters. It was well done and I highly recommend it especially if you love re-tellings.

4.5 of 5

17 Responses to “Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge”

  1. 1 thereadingpanda January 2, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    As a big fan of fairytale retellings and greek mythology I can’t wait to read this! Your review makes it seem very intriging.

  2. 3 Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity January 2, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    I do so love fairytale retellings, and have had my eye on Cruel Beauty for a while now, actually. And I’m glad that it spins it’s own story, and doesn’t just regurgitate its basis fairytale – which just so happens to be my favourite, LOVE Beauty and the Beast.
    “I just love that demonic, bastard beast!” Pretty much me with every interpretation of the Beast, haha! 😀
    Aw, no. I hate disappointing endings! They kind of ruin the love for the rest of the book a little bit. Nonetheless, I am still really keen on reading this one!

  3. 6 mnkbooklife January 2, 2014 at 3:14 AM

    Ooh, love that the writing make us feel what happened with the story rather than just annoyingly dump the info on us. I’ve been hearing mixed review about this, but so glad you liked it! I’ll definitely check on this one soon!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

  4. 8 deysemhf January 2, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    I love Beauty & Beast from Disney when I was a little child was my favorite princess movie. I heard that this has a lot of color describing or I’m wrong?
    Anyway loved to know that it has Greek mythology too, another of my fave things (thanks history teacher and Rick Riordan)
    Best wishes.

    • 9 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Me too! I love the characters and just the whole story. I’m not sure because I can’t remember, but there’s definitely a lot of descriptions, but it won’t bore you. Yeah, it was very interesting to read how the author tied Greek Mythology into Beauty and the Beast.

  5. 10 Nova Lee @ Out of Time January 2, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    I read a couple other reviews and a bunch of people said that those chapters in the end are crazy to understand. So this is me promising to read slowly, lol.

    I have this one on kindle and I’m super excited to read it because of all the cool reviews I heard about. Also, I am in love with retellings… but only the ones that are actually original enough!

    Lovely review, Leigh <33

    • 11 Leigh (LittleBookStar) January 2, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Yup. Very crazy. But now I understand it. You should definitely read it asap because it is such a beautiful story. I totally agree; I love re-tellings but I like it when it’s close to the original story. That’s why I didn’t really like Alice in Zombieand b/c it was nothing like Alice in Wonderland. Thanks!

  6. 12 Pamela D January 2, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    I hate it when endings get complicated and aren’t so great. I am glad to hear that the ending didn’t ruin the book for you.

  7. 14 Kezia D January 2, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    OMG I am a big fan of retellings AND Greek mythology I’m soooo excited to get my hands on a copy! ❤ And I'm curious about Hodge's own twist to the tale. Will add this to my wish list 😀 Great review as usual, Leigh! ^^

  8. 16 Emily January 3, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    RETELLINGS!!! 😀 This want looks like a really fantastic read! 🙂 Though the protagonist seems a little miffy… Oh wow, I’ve been seeing rave reviews EVERYWHERE for this one, I think I’ll truly miss out if I don’t read it 😉
    Fantastic review as always, Leigh!! <33

  9. 17 Nicole January 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    I am so excited for this one! I will be reading it soon. So glad to hear you loved the writing, the world-building, the characters. It’s a bummer to hear that the ending was confusing but thanks for the heads up! Great review!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

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Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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