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 started out really good. I was in love with the whole Beauty and the Beast retelling concept, and the first few chapters of it really just blew my mind. The writing and settings were beautifully created, the twists and turns were mind blowing, and it was just so beautiful.
One of the things that I didn’t like about Cruel Beauty was that it was more complex that it really needed to be. I would have preferred a much more simple story about Beauty and the Beast. I wanted it almost to be on the contemporary side, light and refreshing. Obviously, there needs to be a huge paranormal aspect to the story, but I really wanted a lighter story that more focused on the romance and the transformations. Instead, there were way too many elements. I didn’t like some of the twists and turns. I really didn’t like Shade, either. It was a little messy.
As far as characters go, I really didn’t fall in love with anyone except for Ignifex. I loved him. However, I couldn’t stand the main girl, Nyx. She was really whiny and annoying, and sometimes it felt like she had no personality at all. I found myself skimming and speed reading to parts that featured Ignifex. I would recommend this book simply for him.
Another thing that I didn’t like about the characters was that the names were really difficult for me. I had a really hard time pronouncing all the names actually, except for Shade. I hate that in books. I really do. If I’m reading a high fantasy, then it’s expected. But I wasn’t reading a high fantasy. For this genre and this story, I would have preferred that the characters had names that didn’t give me a headache trying to pronounce.
I thought that some of the things that happened in Cruel Beauty were really cool and really shouted out that WOW factor! Again, I thought that the book could have done without those things because I wanted a lighter story, but the thought and creativity behind some of the things that happened in this book were ridiculously amazingly thought out.
Another thing about this book is that it’s very insta-lovey and it includes a pretty big, complicated love triangle from the very get go. I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle, because it didn’t happen that way in the original story. I didn’t like how quick they fell in love. I wanted to see a little more build up there.
Fans of Splintered by A.G. Howard will absolutely adore this book. There’s a lot of detail, romance, and twists and turns that are going to create a large fanbase. I did like the book. However, it was a little too confusing and messy for my personal tastes. I would read chunks of the book that I just didn’t understand. So, I spent a lot of time wondering what the hell was actually going on. I also didn’t like all the myths and legends that populated this book. I would skim those sections, because I didn’t want to read about them. I also didn’t think that they really pertained to the story itself. However, I had the same problems with Splintered. I could tell that it was beautifully done, but it was just too much for my brain to process.
Publication Date: January 28th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Rating: [rating: 3]