Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

COMING SOON: JANUARY 28, 2014

Book Description:
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

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
A standalone novel! YES, PLEASE! A beautiful, dark, retelling of Beauty & the Beast?! Double yes please!
 
Opening Sentence: I was raised to marry a monster.
 
WHOA... what a GREAT opening line! I was HOOKED! However this is not a typical young adult fantasy or paranormal romance. Nooooo, there is NOTHING light or fluffy about this story unlike the sweet Disney version we all know and love and watched as kids. Cruel Beauty is a different kind of story. It's dark, it's frightening, it's morbid, but the writing is simply beautiful.
 
Nyx was raised knowing she would marry the "Gentle Lord" in order to kill him and save their world from his evil ways. However she more of a sacrifice to atone for the sins of her father who struck a bargain with this "Gentle Lord" and Nyx has to pay the price.
 
At first it was a little slow and Nyx whined a lot. But this author never made her into the "pure hearted" heroine that saves a beast and then the kingdom by breaking some spell. Oooooh NO this is a twisted story mixed my mythology of gods and bargain makers that have all a twisted way of doing things that nobody comes out happy. I told you think is not a light a fluffy book. This is about evil and being trapped when you were trying to do the right thing. It's about a girl who always want to be pure hearted but failed everyday but didn't allow it to consume her. This is about a boy who struck a bargain to be pure and ended up damning himself and his entire kingdom with dark well hidden clues to figure out the whole story. Clues that could literally kill you. In a house with danger behind every door. And hopelessly no way to break it without destroying the whole land.
 
Without going too much into it. this story was amazing. I felt it had a bit of a Juliet Marillier feel to it. So if you like the twists unique ways of Marillier then you'll like this book. I completely enjoyed it, this has been a GREAT start to the new year with this AMAZING book!
 
Language: none
Violence: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: none
Sexual Content: moderate (PG-13, talk of characters sleeping together [not detailed] knowledge that characters have slept together {not detailed})

Meet the Author:
 


When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.
He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I will publish my first novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.
Some other facts about me:
• I practice Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese martial art based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
Cruel Beauty is my debut novel, but it is somewhere between the third and sixth that I ever completed, depending on how you count things. (There was the 40,000-word mess I called a novel when I was sixteen, and the 220,000-word mess I briefly pretended was a single novel in 2009.)
NaNoWriMo changed my life and got me finishing novels again after a long hiatus. But Cruel Beauty is not a NaNoWriMo novel. (The NaNoWriMo project that changed everything was the 220,000-word mess. Someday I may even revise it.)
• I grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, and I spent my childhood marinating in Greek mythology, which is where all the Greek elements in Cruel Beauty come from.
• Then I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers.
• I have studied five languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Old Norse, and Japanese), though sadly I am still not able to speak any of them.
• I love some things more than T. S. Eliot’s poetry. But not many things.
• I am represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates.
 


47 comments:

  1. Since you know what book types I like...I respect your review on this book...

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    1. we'll talk when you get here ;)

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  2. You should read Miss Peregrine's Home for peculiar children :)

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    1. I KNOW!!! I NEED TO!!! GAH! especially since the 2nd book comes out this year!

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  3. Thanks for doing this int'l! It means a lot! :)

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  4. I don't know if you already read Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor but, in case you didn't read it, you should probably pick it up! :D

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    1. yes I did! It was phenomenal! I'm listening to the 2nd book! Can't wait for the 3rd!

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  6. I recommend children of the promise series!

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  7. This sounds great! Beauty and the beast is my favourite fairy tale so I can't wait to have this book in my hands. Have you read THe Book Thief by Markus Zusak? It's brilliant :)

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  8. This has been on my wishlist for AGES! thanks for the giveaway :DD

    I recommend.... Defy by Sara B. Larson. :D

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  9. I just love reading your reviews. You have no idea how much I want to read this novel. Those of you that have had the chance to read this book early have said nothing but amazing things about it and I'd love to review it for my blog as well. It sounds like a unique and dark twist on a fairytale classic. You're right, it's definitely not the Disney version. Wonderful review as always. For the record, I'm currently reading Vicious by V. E Schwab. Have you gotten a chance to read it yet? Have a wonderful day.

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  10. Thanks for the giveaway. I loved Firebolt if you haven't read that yet.

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  11. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready. Thank your for the giveaway!

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  12. Ooh this looks right up my alley. I need to check this one out.

    And I feel like you've already read everything I have. The last book I read and really liked was the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It was cute.

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  13. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I see some people read a chapter or two and then gave up. If you carried on, you'd see how really good it gets... Unless, its simply just not to that person's taste. It's not as bad as the first few chapters, it's just dark.

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  14. I don't know if you've read these books, but Vampire Academy is amazing!

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  15. I think you should read the darkest minds trilogy if you haven't already!

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  16. you should read angelfall by susan ee... its sooo damn good.. ad yes i hope i win this giveaway.. :D

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  17. No one really talks about them but I like The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

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  18. You should read More Than This by Patrick Ness! I'm currently reading it right now and it's quite good, plus the cover is gorgeous! Thanks for the giveaway btw :)

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  19. I freaking can't wait to read this book. Sounds like something I would enjoy very much indeed. And need in the cold and dark of north Europe. Berlin is not where you want to be weather wise at the moment, but when it comes to reading it's the perfect place. =)

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  20. I´d love to read this book. Sounds great!

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  21. You should read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson bb!

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  23. This book sounds really interesting. I can't wait to read it.

    You should read The Book Thief. It is beautifully written and has some of the best characters I've ever read.

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  24. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. In mentioned 3 in case you've already read on of them =)

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  25. Thanks for the give away! The book sounds very interesting. I just finished Don't turn around by Michelle Gagnon, it was a fun and quick read!

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  26. You should totally read Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay. That book changed my perception on everything that I found unpleasant. It made me cherish the things that I would have just shrugged off. It was truly and mind-blowingly beautiful.

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  27. Any of the Covenant books, they are all awesome! Great giveaway.

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  28. You should check out Where Life Takes You by Claudia Burgoa ^_^


    Elyssa Marie (Books and Iced Coffee Book Blog)

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  29. I've always likes the beauty and the beast story so I am definitely interested!

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  30. You should read Girl in the Steel Corset. It's not well known, but really very good.

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  31. If you haven't read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern yet, you MUST! It has everything a book asks for: a strong plot, magic, and romance.
    Also, thanks so much for this giveaway. I'm eager to read Cruel Beauty. If the cover and synopsis didn't sell me already, the fact that you mentioned it had a Juliette Marillier feel DID. I have great love for her Sevenwaters series, =D

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  32. Thanks so much for the tireless work you do reading and reviewing books for us, the masses. (I'm sure it is a giant sacrifice!) It has been great fun to get book ideas/recommendations here, and I would LOVE to read Cruel Beauty. (If as an ARC, all the better!)

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    1. THANK YOU! I hope people are able to find books that they like to read on here! I love hearing that you get ideas/recommendations from me and that you trust me! Good Luck in the drawing! :)

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  33. You should read Ending the Rain and the sequel Finding Ever After by Kristen Niedfeldt

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  34. This book sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it!

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  35. Shadow and bone by leigh bardugo! its awesome!!!!

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  36. Where is the giveaway information? Has it been closed already?

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  37. so lyrical and well written! I heard that deathless by Valente is also similar to this book! can't wait to read that too

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