Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance/ Fairy tale retelling
Acquired From: Public Library
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 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 all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-entrhalls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secretes, 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 runing out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
I was drawn to this story mostly because my favorite childhood fairy tale was Beauty and the Beast. Plus the cover looks so interesting that there's nothing else I could do but read it. And I absolutely adored Cruel Beauty. That's why I give it an easy 4.5 out of 5 stars.
The story is clean and wonderful. Nyx is a strong character who is irrevocably broken by the fact that she has so much hate in her heart. She is a character who is real and hateful and loving and mischievous all at once. I absolutely adored her strength and her power to acknowledge the kind of person she was.
I also loved the fact that Ignifex and Shade were such great mysteries. It wasn't so much that they were charismatic, but that they were clearly such strange and unusual characters. They were brilliantly written and wonderfully real. I absolutely loved their unusual relationship with each other, and their complete and total opposite but similar personalities.
This one is definitely going on my shelf to be read over and over.