Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

This book was exactly what I needed right now, a paranormal fairy tale. Cruel Beauty is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with demons. Basically two of my favorite things, I absolutely love the Beauty and the Beast story. It is a great love story about looking within. And this particular novel added demons. There is just something about demons that always get me. I’m not really sure what it is, and I’m sure Supernatural has something to do with my slight obsession.

The beginning of this book was a little bit confusing with respect to the curse and how it tied in with the fairy tale, but as we learned more about both Arcadia and the Gentle Lord/Ignifex, I understood the retelling aspect a lot better. And while this is a retelling, it goes beyond the source material and creates a universe that I utterly enjoyed.

Ignifex is a new favorite when it comes to characters. He was cunning, haunting, and obviously very good at getting what he wants. His characterization was great. The books starts out depicting him as this cruel, very black-and-white character, but as the story unfolds we see all the layers and complexities to his character. Plus there is his shadow, Shade. Shade was an interesting character for me, I really hated him at the beginning, since I was a strong proponent of Ignifex and Nyx. But understanding Shade’s past helped. As for Nyx’s character, she had always been groomed to marry Ignifex and destroy him, and as expected, learns there is more to the curse than originally thought.

I thought Hodge did a beautiful job creating the universe and retelling the classic Beauty and the Beast story with her own twists. Hodge has beautiful writing that just pulls you into the story. And the last part of the book was extremely well written. The book reached a whole new level at the end with the forklore and mythology.

After I started this book, I could not put it down and was dead set on finding out what happened to the characters I had just met. I’m sad that this is a standalone, even though Crimson Bound is in the same universe. I wish I got more Ignifex and Nyx. But I do feel like the book ended perfectly, without diving too far into the future after the plot of the story had played out.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶ and 1/2 Stars

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