Book Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, albeit a much darker one. The Beast is a demon lord and Beauty is the sacrificial lamb. This is a sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart. 
Don’t look at the shadows too long, or a demon might look back.”


jen | Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is the story of Nyx, who at seventeen is offered as a bride to the Gentle Lord, Prince of the demons. The Result of a bargain by her father, so that his wife could bear children. She is sent there on a mission to kill her new husband so that the curse could be lifted off of Arcadia. When she meets the Gentle Lord, he is not what she expected.

When I was told about this book, I knew I had to read it. After reading it, I had lots of mix feelings. There were a lot of ideas in it that I like but some of it was not living up to its potential.

The story itself and the ideas of a fairy tale and some mythology blended together was at times interesting but more time confusing. I’m a big fan of Greek mythology, but the book starts off really slow and there is a huge amount of Hermetic and Greek mythology info being dumped. Some I understood and some that just did not fit into the story.

It does get better as you get further into the book, where you see the main characters interacting with each other. The imagery is beautifully woven, with details that allowed me to fully imagine what each room of the ever-changing castle looked like and Arcadia as well. The detail of the Darkness will make your skin crawl.

There is a love triangle in this but strangely there isn’t one. You’ll see when you read the book. The most interesting character in the book is Ignifex, the Gentle Lord. He was both a bad ass and charming at the same time. You always wanted more of him on the page. While the protagonist, Nyx, got on my nerves a little with her inability to stick to her decision. Her inner turmoil got really annoying really fast. Although the witty banter between them was always entertaining.

I think I would have liked this better as an Adult Fantasy book rather than a YA one, where the author could maybe go further with the sensual aspect of this story. Overall I did like the book, it is beautifully written in great details. A good debut for Rosamund Hodge.

amazonHarper Collins