She isn’t your sweet-tempered Disney’s Belle; she is a cruel beauty with a heart full of poison.
How I came across the book: I have read so many remakes of the story of Beauty and the Beast, and couldn’t resist reading yet another one. I found this book on my local electronic library and decided to give it a chance.
Nyx Triskelion inhabits a world where daemons roam the earth terrorizing and striking bargains with unsuspecting humans. Before her birth, Nyx’s father foolishly strikes a powerful bargain with the demon lord, Ignifex. In exchange for the life of his beloved wife, two twin daughters are to be born. Once the eldest twin reaches womanhood, she is to become Ignifex’s bride. Nyx, the eldest twin has grown up resenting her father for deciding her fate. She vows to destroy Ignifex and earn her freedom by breaking the nine-hundred-year-old curse placed upon her land.
About the Book
Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe (Book #1)
Year Published: 2014
Genre: Young adult fiction, romance, supernatural, fantasy, retelling
Nearly all beauty and the beast remakes follow this formula:
Beauty: I hate you for keeping me locked in your castle. Let me go!
Beauty: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.
(Five minutes later)
Beauty: Hey, I’m living in a castle, this isn’t so bad. What am I mad about anyway? Yeah, I’m a prisoner… but who cares! Oh look! A library!
Of course, in order for the story to move forward, “Beauty” must begin to fall for the beast. Yet, many authors make the mistake of letting “Beauty” forget very quickly she is being held prisoner against her will. Which is why, the protagonist, Nyx, was very refreshing. She doesn’t forget that she is a prisoner, and she doesn’t stop searching for her freedom. Even the temptation of books will not distract her. She does have anger issues, but that is what makes her interesting. After a while, it is dull reading about docile young women who surrender without a fight. There needs to be more female protagonists out there like Nyx. As for the love interest, he has his own charm that makes him stand out from the typical cookie-cutter bad boy in disguise.
Unfortunately for this story, the prose flows well at the beginning, yet somehow, falls flat at the end. The story is quickly wrapped up as if the narrator ran out of steam. The inclusion of Hermetic arts, and Greco-Roman mythology was rather confusing and made the story a little difficult to follow. However, the attempt to marry the story of Beauty and the Beast with that of Persephone and Hades was pure genius.
If I had to rate this book in comparison to the other Beauty and the Beast retellings that I have read in the past, this book would probably earn a 75%. With that said, those who enjoy retellings of Beauty and the Beast will find this story charming if not highly imaginative and thrilling. If it were a longer read, the confusing story-line may have been difficult to overlook.
Final rating: B
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