Monday, March 16, 2015

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Balzer + Bray (January 28, 2014) 357 pages


Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.


My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I seriously loved this book, and can't wait to read more from Rosamund Hodge!

Cruel Beauty is a Beauty and the Beast re-telling, with a great deal of mythology mixed in the story. I'll admit that I don't know a great deal of mythology, so other than what I've learned from watching the Percy Jackson movies, most of that went over my head a bit. Still, I enjoyed it greatly, and devoured it, really. I was just too curious to see how things were going to tie up in the end. I DID figure out part of the mystery, but there was no way for me to figure out everything. There were little secrets revealed along the way, and it was just a fun read.

The romance was sweet and slow to build, but it wasn't overdone, in my opinion.

Very slight SPOILER: (this is mostly for those that might read it, and question my thoughts) ;)

**(A certain kiss came a little quickly for my taste, but it was somewhat necessary to move that portion of the story along. The whole situation was a little worrisome, too, considering my beliefs concerning marriage. I had suspicions, though, and I just won't think too hard about that whole situation.)**

End Spoiler

I don't know if the author had this in mind or not, but I get a "Christian allegory" kind of vibe from this book. I started reading her new book, Crimson Bound, and I got the same kind of vibe. If you enjoy that type of thing, that might be extra motivation to give this one a try. Even though some of my favorite books are considered Christian allegories, the allegory parts aren't overly my thing, so I didn't really dig within this story to see if my vibes were correct or not. ((That could be a project for you!)) ;) Still, the thought of a Christian allegory making it into mainstream publishing makes me a bit giddy. Again, though, I could be way off the mark with that vibe!

Also, this isn't a light read, in my opinion. It's a very complex story that can get easily confusing. That's exactly why I got halfway through Crimson Bound, and decided to start over(once I knock out a few review books). I was enjoying it greatly, but I felt a little lost. Make sure you give some dedicated reading time to get well into the story, instead of just grabbing little moments of reading here and there.

This is a dark, yet lovely book. Definitely give it a try if you're looking for a fairy tale to rob you of sleep! This one went straight to my favorites list, and I have plans to read anything and everything that has Hodge's name on it in the future!


For YA, this book is very clean! There's no profanity. It DOES have a more mature feel to it, though, since the two main characters are married. There's really no details, though. ((The most details come from a "wifely duties" talk. That might make this too mature of a read for the younger gals.)) Again, though, I'd label it perfectly clean for mature readers.

*Thanks to my local library for lending me an e-copy!


Purchase Link:

Cruel Beauty



  1. Sounds as if this is a must read! I've read lots of positive reviews about this one and am tempted to read it, but then my common sense kicks in and I remind myself to read the books I *have* to first. :D

    1. It is a must read, but I know just how you feel with having so many books that have to be read first! :)

  2. Yay! I'm so pleased you liked it! I read it last summer and absolutely fell in love. But it's one of those stories that has enough darkness and sweet-creepiness (I know, just go with it) that I can see where it wouldn't be a story for everybody. I loved it though! :)

    I hadn't made the Christian allegory connection. Might need to reread and see if I can spot what you did! Never a bad idea. ;)

    1. I know just what you mean! I do love those dark/creepy, yet sweet books, but, you're right, they're not for everyone. And, I may be way off on the allegory thing! (most likely)

  3. I'm with Kara - SO happy you enjoyed it, Bluerose! :D Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I'm stoked for Crimson Bound! Have you read the Cinderella novella, Gilded Ashes, yet? While it didn't beat out the full-length Cruel Beauty, it was very interesting and a great read in its own right. :)

    And again, I agree with Kara in that this would be a great one to re-read and search for Christian themes!


    1. I need to read Gilded Ashes! It's actually waiting patiently for me right now. ;) I'm very curious about it.

  4. I would recommend this to pretty much anyone that I could. If you like fairy tales, if you like romance or fantasy, if you like books at all. Okay, maybe not for everyone, but I really do think a wide variety of people would enjoy this, and I loved it.

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