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