Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

cruel-beautyPublisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 7, 2015 (originally January 28, 2014)
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Pages: 368
Goodreads || Book Depository

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

For fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

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.


3 stars

Cruel Beauty started off on a really high note but started going downhill pretty quickly for me, unfortunately. I found a lot of the book to be confusing and I wasn’t into the plot or some of the romance elements too much either.

I really loved the concept of the book but like some other reviewers, I thought the execution could have been better. I really liked the first 75 pages of the book and was really keen to see where the story was going to go but it quickly started to become kind of disappointing. There’s actually not a lot that happens in this book and I felt like I was just waiting and waiting for something to happen. There was a bit too much explanation about not much at all and I just wanted more plot. I also felt like there were some things that were kind of repetitive and I was just disappointed with how slow-moving the book was. I wasn’t a big fan of the ending and I was confused about some of the explanations, so I finished the book without really feeling like I fully understood everything. I did like that the story incorporated Greek mythology and magic into it and it was nice to be able to recognise and understand some of the references. However, I felt like there was a bit too much of it and it started to get confusing because of how much information was being thrown at me.

However, I did like the characters for the most part. I enjoyed Nyx as the main character and thought she was really interesting. I loved that she had a darker side to her and wasn’t the typical pure and kindhearted heroine, especially given that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I liked her bitterness at her situation that her family have put her in and that she wasn’t afraid to show her feistiness. And I really enjoyed her relationship with Ignifex. I found myself shipping them for most of the book and I really liked the scenes that they had together. However, I can’t say that I was a big fan of how the romance played out. I didn’t like the weird love triangle situation and there was also insta-love that I didn’t really appreciate.

As a whole, the book wasn’t very enjoyable to read. It was very wordy and long-winded for what actually happened and I was disappointed with the lack of plot and the execution of what I thought was a great concept. There were too many elements that I didn’t really like and it ruined the reading experience for me even though I did power through the novel.


10 thoughts on “Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

  1. Nick Complains A Lot (@nickofthebooks) says:

    I remember reading this one but that’s about it lol. I think I liked it? I don’t know. Anyways, I’ve noticed that this author’s books are usually hard for me to get into. They tend to be really wordy, but not much is happening when you think about it? I don’t know. I haven’t been able to get into any of her other books since this one. I don’t think she’s an author for me. I’m glad you liked parts of this one at least, Jenna!


  2. Ksenia says:

    Hi, Jenna! I haven’t been around for a while and missed your recent posts. I’m glad to be able to blog and comment now. Looking forward to check out what you’ve been up to, though it would probably take me some time.

    I’ve read Cruel Beauty 2 years ago and loved it. I’m not sure what I would think about it if I read it now, my tastes changed. But I’m sure that one thing would remain – my feelings about Ignifex. I loved this sarcastic and smart Gentle Lord. He is one of my favorite villains. He is so deliciously complex and multidimensional. The ending was a little bit confusing for me as well.

    Rosamund Hodge like no one can write characters with a darker side. If you like such heroines I recommend you Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. I loved it. Give this author another chance!


  3. Joy @ Thoughts By J says:

    Oh man, so many people had raved about this book when it first came out so it’s kind of disappointing to hear that it’s just hype. I love retellings and beautiful world-building, but only if it’s there for a reason. Don’t like a story that drags on for no reason! Thanks for the honest review lovely x


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