Books Reviews · Retelling

Book Review – Cruel Beauty


 Title: Cruel Beauty

Author:Rosamund Hodge

Rating: Excellent

Where to find it? Goodreads, Amazon

Hello readers,

I know it’s been long since my last post and I have missed it. Hopefully now that I have settled in my new house I have time to blog more frequently. Today’s post is a review from ‘Cruel Beauty’ by Rosamund Hodge.

Since Nyx was nine years old she knew that she was to marry the Gentle Lord when she turns 17 years old. All of this because her father made a bargain with the Gentle Lord and she was the one to pay it off. All those years her father trained her to kill him and save Arcadia. No love demonstrations or regret by her daughters fate make Nyx very resentful of her family. When she finally marries the Gentle Lord, she finds out that nothing is what it seems.

Perfect mix of dark retelling and greek/roman mythology

Cruel Beauty is a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast in combination with Roman/Greece mythology set in a city that lives in fear of the Gentle Lord and his demons. I was surprised with the addition of roman and greek mythology but I found that it was a perfect merge with a classic retelling that makes it a unique book.

It took me a bit to get into the story but once I was sucked in I couldn’t put it down.

Realistic set of  characters

I like Nyx, she was sarcastic, strong and incredible real to me because she just plain hated her family. Her father for promising her to a monster and never showing a hint of regret or a demonstration of loved towards her. Her aunt . And her sister for being the one loved, the one not given away. She  hates her family for all her life and for all the opportunities that she will never had and the loved she never received. You can feel it in her thoughts, but you can totally understand why.

Ignifex was the bad guy but I couldn’t help but like him. He was always honest with Nyx and with the bargains and treat her nice. And I liked his mentality towards humanity and how people act to achieve what they want. He was more human to me that many of the characters that appeared.

‘If there’s one thing I’ve learnt as the Lord of the Bargains it’s that knowing the truth is not always a kindness’

On the other side I didn’t like Shade at all.He felt very hypocrate and selfish and I just wanted to read fast those scenes.

One of the things that I liked about the book was that it made you think about the human nature. As Ignifex said it was the humans that came to him for the bargains, and they were willing to sacrifice other people because of their desires. Just as Nyx father, he wanted kids so he bargained for it even if the exchange wasn’t his to be paid.

‘…everyone who ever bargains with me is convinced that he is righteous. Even the ones who come sad-eyed and guilty – they weep to the gods that they are sinners, but in their hearts they believe their need is so special that it justifies any sin, that they are heroes for losing all their righteousness and paying with their souls’.

Captivating plot twists

Though I enjoyed the story and it went to places I wasn’t expecting I felt a bit disappointed with the end. I didn’t quite understand how it all happened that way.

Overall it is a unique retelling that I recommend  though I found a bit anoying the writing style. It was as if the author was trying too hard to make it poetic that in the end was too complicated to follow.

Did you read it?What did you think about it?


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