Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


“Why is he scared of the dark?”
I meant the words for a joke, but Shade nodded seriously. “Like all monsters. Because it reminds him of what he truly is”.”


Nyx was preparing for her wedding day as long as she remembers herself. From a young age, she knew that she was born for a reason. She has to save her country from the darkness. For centuries, Arcadia was isolated from the rest of the world and was haunted by demons hiding in the shadows.

Seventeen years ago, Nyx’s father made a bargain with Ignifex lord of the demons. He asked to have a daughter; in return, his other daughter would marry Ignifex and stay forever in his castle. Years of learning and training passed by, as Nyx is the only one who can defeat the Lord and save Arcadia.

Nyx knew her destiny but she never gave up hope that her family would want to spare her from it and let her live a normal life. Her heart filled with anger, bitterness, and hatred.

After the wedding, Nyx is taken to her husband’s castle. Soon she realizes that fulfilling her duty to her people is more difficult than she could ever imagine especially when she gets to know Ignifex.

I did not expect much from this novel. It is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast with a little mythological twist. Although I love fairytales, I do not run into good retellings very often. However, Cruel Beauty was not bad at all! The story was captivating and it kept my interest until the end. Actually, I could not put it down for the entire weekend.

Nyx really stood out for me as a character. I enjoy narratives that are not all “sweet-pink unicorns-positive smiles”. She was brave, sarcastic, funny, angry and sometimes hateful (she had her reasons). She was disappointed with her family, herself but she was also very honest. She was aware that she was not perfect and never pretended she was.

Even the love triangle did not bother me, although it usually does. It made sense to me why she loved both of them.

I have read other people’s reviews and many bothered by the fact that Nyx was indecisive, sometimes she loved her family, and then she hated them. But, I totally get her frustration with her family who had betrayed her. Obviously, she was confused.

The only thing that bothered me in this novel is the end, which was blurred. I know that love and kindness conquer all (that is what fairytales teach us), however, I am still trying to connect some dots to figure out what exactly happened in the end…

“You fought and fought to keep all the cruelty locked up in your head, and for what? None of them ever loved you, because none of them ever knew you”

Rating: 4/5


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