every wicked bit ► cruel beauty by rosamund hodge

cruel beauty_rosamundhodgePublished: January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Genre & Keywords: Fairytale retelling + Greek Mythology
Other Books From Author: none, this is a debut!

Amazon | Goodreads | @rosamundhodge |

“I was raised to marry a monster.”

Some say this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling… but it’s also not. If anything, it’s Greek mythology meets Beauty and the Beast. It’s Hades/Persephone and Pandora/Prometheus and Cupid/Psyche meet Beauty and the Beast. In any case, Nyx Triskelion is our Beauty, who will be the wife of the Gentle Lord– Ignifex– at 17 because of a bargain her father made. But the Gentle Lord isn’t gentle at all, he is the demon prince who has cursed their world under a parchment dome. So all her life, Nyx was trained to kill him, save everyone, and avenge her mother, whose life paid the price for a deal with the devil.


I’m going to try very hard to justify WHY I loved this book, but there are some feelings that words can’t explain. It’s dark, creepy, raw, beautiful, thrilling, romantic, magical and truly addictive. I fell in love with the parallels to Greek myths in an instant, and the mythology is heavily woven into Cruel Beauty‘s world. In fact, the characters bring up Greek gods and goddesses in daily conversation, like it’s the most normal thing to say, which can throw off those who are unfamiliar with the myths so just FYI!

Beauty and the Beast isn’t my favourite fairytale (Aladdin forever ♥), but I adored this retelling. Warning: it resembles none of the sweetness and happy joy that you get from Disney’s version! Rosamund Hodge’s writing is dark, lush, and lyrical as she spins a new version of Beauty and the Beast, complete with demons and magic and gods whose capricious temperaments never promise a happy ending. Loving anything about this book must be a sin, and I loved everything.

I GOT Nyx and loved Ignifex like you won’t believe. I feel like I lost something when I finished the book, something precious and unique and something I’ll never get back again. Re-reading will only bring me closer but never there. I know I’m being melodramatic and crap but I can’t help myself. I love immeasurably flawed protagonists. I love them, love them, love them. Like I said, I GOT Nyx, every step of the way. Nyx is snarky and fantastic. She hated the Gentle Lord and her family, who sacrificed her against her will. Her personality was instantly attractive to me, because she is absolutely fierce. She’s not perfect nor the most kind and I recognized a bit of myself in her. I felt her falling for the Ignifex, and I fell myself. I love him like I’ve known him all my life; I know Nyx like I’ve been her my entire life.

I know this book isn’t going to be for everyone, heck, I think I might be in the minority that was absolutely smitten. I personally loved this book, it was a magical journey through a complex and interesting mix of fairytales and mythology for me, but I know not everyone will feel that way. A word of caution after all that crazy FANGIRLING because I can see why some may find this book weird and incomprehensible! Also, ummm I got a bit lost towards the end?

Have you read this one? How did you feel? Are you interested in reading this? I know this book doesn’t work for everyone, so I’d love to hear what you think!!


19 thoughts on “every wicked bit ► cruel beauty by rosamund hodge

  1. Okay, I’m in! Especially because you had to buy the paper copy because it was that good. The cover reminds me of Vicious by Victoria Scott. Two totally different covers and stories, but the book also has a cover that for me didn’t say anything at all and it turned out to be awesome. This book seems like that, too. The cover really doesn’t call to me. I hope I’ll like it!

    • Now that you’ve mentioned it, this cover does give off the same vibes as Vicious! I’ve heard raving reviews for Vicious but the cover never called me either… looks like it’s time to remedy that =) Thank you for the comment and I hope you’ll enjoy Cruel Beauty!

  2. I’m questioning (for about the 100th time) why I haven’t read this book yet. I have heard great things from other bloggers, and you are making me even more excited! I love reading the kind of books that are best when you go into them blind, and your promise of gorgeous writing and a darker-than-Disney plot entices me to no end. I’m glad to hear you liked this one so much, and I’m sure I will too.

    • HAHA yes!! If this sounds like your kind of thing, I’d definitely recommend a go! I’d say the plot and characters in Cruel Beauty would be queer to some, just proceed with some caution because I understand that this isn’t a book that EVERYONE would love.

  3. I have an audiobook of this too (isn’t Sync just awesome?!) and will listen to it soon! Your review definitely made me even more excited and I skimmed your review because I followed your advice that it’s better to go in completely blind but awesome review nonetheless! <3

    • I adore SYNC, I look forward to them every year and they’ve always surprised me with my new favourite reads (The Raven Boys last year, and Cruel Beauty now!). Hope you’ll enjoy listening to the audiobook, I wasn’t patient enough to finish it, but the narrator is pretty awesome in fleshing out the emotions =)

  4. I normally HATE the villain-ish heroes, but Ignifex? Me likes. Loved the writing, loved the story, loved the characters. ;) So glad you found a new favorite! <3

  5. I got this book a not much of a while back, and the fact that it’s a retelling and the cover is so gorgeous just captivated me. Amazing review, I’m so glad that you loved it! Anti-heroes rule. <3

    • HAHAHA YES. Anti-heroes are all this book is about, and my friends who started reading Cruel Beauty after my recommendation can never understand why I find them attractive! I guess it really depends on how much you can relate to them (because their behaviour is nothing like the MC we usually get), hope you’ll enjoy the retelling! Definitely will be a unique experience =)

  6. This book has been talked about a lot and I really want to read it. The Greek mythology draws me in, even though that surfaced some problems for other readers. Will maintain a certain amount of skepticism, thank you for the review

    • I’m also a big fan of Greek mythology SOMEONE REMIND WHY I HAVEN’T READ PERCY EEP!!! It’s always good to maintain some skepticism, but hope you’ll ultimately enjoy reading this!

  7. I really loved this book, too! I know there are mixed reviews on this because of the world building and the combination of Greek Mythology and Beauty & the Beast but that’s my favorite part about this book. I liked the romance as well and Ignifex is definitely swoony haha. So glad you enjoyed it! The only part I was kind of ehhh about was the ending because it was confusing for me.

    • Yep, feels for this book tends to swing to the extremes, and I think a lot of it has to do with how well one relates to the unusual-ness of Cruel Beauty. HAHA IGNIFEX <3 The ending certainly wasn't the best happy ending, it was flawed and broken like everything else in this book and I've come to accept it =)

  8. Gahhhhh, I love Cruel Beauty for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. I loved Nyx and Ignifex, I loved how dark they both were and how they got each other. Nyx definitely was not the typical perfect and kind Beauty; I loved that Hodge made her more human, more angry. And that gif perfectly sums up how I was feeling by the end of the book: curled in the fetal position clutching my book and crying from my feels, haha.

    • Nyx and Ignifex make up the most flawed, true, broken, nonsensical pair ever and I love them for it <3 HAHAHA YES THAT GIF. Selected especially for this book!

  9. I have heard so many fantastic reviews for this one and yours is just another that makes me want to read the book right now! I will be getting it soon and pushing it to the top of the TBR pile!
    Thanks for a fantastic review and all the warnings about the Greek mythology! Being a huge fan of Greek myths that’s another reason for me to want to read the book!

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