Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Published: Jan. 28, 14
Source: Edelweiss and publisher for review
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.My thoughts:
Yep, this is a retelling of Beauty and the Best which is probably my favorite story for retelling. Not because there is a beauty or even a beast, but often because the girl/woman has a brain. It is also often her kindness and not her beauty that captures the beast. In this tale it is no different but there are some major character differences I both loved and hated.
I loved that the beast was not 100% cruel. He was just charged with not having a pure heart. Even though they never defined what a pure heart was for this world, I didn't see how anyone could achieve such a thing. We are all a mix of both cruelty and kindness, purity and well... not so pure. :) So, I did enjoy that both characters were charged with being cruel and kind. Even that purity was discussed, I think it centered more on fear and bravery.
The difference I didn't love was with Nyx. She kept berating herself on her "evil" thoughts. It became so much I just wanted to tell her to "chill" a bit and give herself a break. No one is so perfect that they never have a negative thought. However, she is young and is trying to be the best person she can, so it was also easy to forgive her... but I still wanted to make her relax from time to time.
I give this book 4 stars. I enjoyed this story. It keeps pretty close to what we know about the story and so it isn't unpredictable. I didn't mind that but it did make me want to yell at Nyx so she could see what she was missing in the puzzle she was trying to solve. Sometimes those are fun. I recommend the book to fans of the story Beauty and the Beast as well as fairy tale retellings.