Friday, 17 January 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty

Publication Date:  January 28th 2014         
~A copy was provided by Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review~

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

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


Cruel Beauty. Cruel Beauty, what can I say about you? I didn't want you to end, is one. And when it did? The book hated me. And yet, I still loved it.
A unique, magical world, laced with mythology,

Prepared and trained all her life, Nyx  has always known she was born for one thing and one thing only. To kill the Gentle Lord that rules their world, unleashes shadow demons that if looked upon by human eyes-and they look back-would drive you mad, that has controlled and damned their existence.
Now she has to marry him.

The cruel, terrifying Gentle Lord to be her Husband.
For her kingdom, for the people, even the ones she hates, she'll do it was bitterness and poison in her heart.

If you asked me, Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology, would it work? I would've said no, I mean, Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology. After reading Cruel Beauty? You have no idea.
I was shocked at the mythology, since I wasn't really expecting it, but it was prominent and worked into it perfectly. The descriptions were lush and vivid with the world it painted. It's dark, and desperate, and tainted with fear.

You think it would be simple to change things, you had suggested ways, and flimsy ways, but nothings that simple in this cruel and intricately crafted world. Who you thought you could trust is not who you can trust, who you knew you shouldn't and couldn't, isn't all that it seems and should be, but you couldn't help but be charmed by them  
With a story within a story within a story...

It is truly captivating and beautifully woven that you get to know along the way, and it is frustrating and perfect and paced just so.
Nyx is pretty timid with a storm of hate brewing for years inside of her, she's cracked and a little unnerving, but she's determined. And then she's strong, and determined and when being mocked she gives just as much back. It's slow and building, just like it should, and as bit by bit things are revealed, her feelings start to change. She's not innocent, she knows the danger, and she's torn between honour and revenge, and loving and wanting the thing she shouldn't. She's indecisive and spontaneous, and it shocked even her of what she was actually capable of.

Ad oh, she became so much more than she thought she could have been. Growing up in the environment that she did, what her 'family' had her believe, made her only alive for this one thing, made her believe that that made her all she was.
And she hated it.

And she felt ashamed for hating it. Hated that she envied and despised her twin, hated her stupid father. Slowly, she thawed out, and though she thought she didn't, she had a right to be angry. Her character development was slow and building, and she was broken and when she had what she wanted all her life, so close, she had to destroy. She didn't want to do it, and it kind of broke her, she wanted to be selfish, she didn't care, but like she had always done, she did what she had to and damn you Nyx, sacrifice is what she knows best.
Ignifex you little...Ugh, I shouldn't like him, should I? but I do, he is quite charming, and actually, though you wouldn't think it, quite noble. He was a definite surprise, but in the best way. I think he was more shocked than Nyx.

Shade, I wasn't sold on, and I had a few idea's which, well, were wrong.
It's something when you can make flawed characters likeable, even the ones you should dislike, and actually care about them.

Cruel Beauty is an unique, rich and velvety world, laced with magic, mythology and folklore, and meshing the lines between love and betrayal, and ultimately, sacrifice.
Rating: 5/5



  1. I love mythology books and fairytales like Beauty and the Beast + Sleeping Beauty so this one interests me a lot! Thanks for the awesome review :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  2. I've had an ARC of this for a while now but still haven't got to, but your review makes me want to put down the book I'm currently reading and start this! It sounds soooo good :)

    1. It is, I was a bit confused with the mythology so had to have a look into my Greek Mythology book, but then it totally made sense. But get to it, you won't regret it. ;)

  3. I am glad that you really loved this, Kirsty! *high five* I also loved this despite the minor flaws that it contain. I adore the heroine because she's just wicked which sometimes borders on being an anti-hero. And of course, I was impressed with Shade and Ignifex.

    What really bothered me about this book is that some parts of it really moved slow. And while the romance was commendable, I realized that I expected more development in it. Overall, Cruel Beauty was really unique.

    Lovely review, Kirsty!

    1. *high five* haha, it did slow towards the middle I think, there's just something about it. :)

  4. I can't wait to read this book after your review! Cruel Beauty sounds so amazing! The mix of mythology and beauty and the beast fascinates me :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it :D Right now I am kind of half thinking of hopping on Amazon and ordering the book!

    1. Hope you do, it really is amazing. Hope you enjoy it! :)