Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Because my favorite princess story is Beauty and the Beast, I absolutely had to read it. I was in no way disappointed by what I read. Cruel Beauty follows Nyx, a girl who has been bartered away to marry the man who killed her mother. She is sent to the castle with a mission to kill the Gentle One, the man she is marrying, and free her lands. In the castle, she realizes it will be much harder than she thought.
The book had characters that changed and grew as the story moved along. It was a beautiful thing to read. All characters weren’t perfect, and that was another beautiful piece added to the story. Each and every one of them had their flaws, but their flaws didn’t overpower their ability to do good (except for maybe Nyx’s father who is a completely horrible man). The plot line was interesting and held my attention throughout the entire book.
The following contains major spoilers so I suggest hiding in a corner and reading this book before you continue reading.
When the love triangle emerged, I was a little distressed. Nyx seemed to be perfect with both men presented! When Shade (a butler who is also a shadow) hurt Nyx, I figured that the love triangle was solved and Ignifex (the man that Nyx marries) would be the one she ends up with. Oh, was I wrong! Nowhere in my mind had I even considered the two men being to same person. I really enjoyed this surprise and how it was handled. In the end, it made perfect sense and all the loose ends were tied up.
Speaking of the end, that was another wonderful surprise! When I first started read that portion I was a little disappointed that it was all a dream. What’s the point of reading an entire book about a dream? Luckily, it wasn’t a dream at all. The world was entirely altered. It was amazing watching Nyx run out and find Lux. It was so sweet how they fought to be together even when the odds were against them.
When I finished the book and was talking to my friend about it (she hasn’t read it and probably never will but is such a good friend that she listens anyways), I had a realization. I had been ranting about how stupid the people were to trust the Gentle One’s bargains. They knew that no matter what, their deal would always come back to bite them. After a little bit of thinking on the subject, I figured that we aren’t much different. Satan is always tempting us with things that will only satisfy us for a moment while God has things that will last forever, but we still sometimes choose Satan.
So as you may have noticed, this was a pretty good book. What were your thought on it? Did you like how Shade and Ignifex were the same person? What do you think about my metaphor? I would love to know!