Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Pages: Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Purchase: Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
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.
I love fairy-tale retelling's. To see a new and hopefully interesting twist on a classic tale. So whenever a new one comes out, I have high expectations for it. I mean, the bones of the story is already there for the writer to twist and reshape however they please.
I liked this one, it did not blow me away and intrigue me the way other ones have, and Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites, it's in the top three. The world building, while very interesting, sometimes felt unfinished, at least until close to the end when some of it was explained. Although, some of it was just not explained at all. Like why they still worship the Greek gods, while that is a very interesting plot point, we're never really given a reason as to why or what era the setting is in. The way the clothes were described, it seemed as though it was Victorian, maybe.
All that aside, the characters were something that I actually really liked.
Nyx, she is a pretty interesting character, some of the reviews I've read/seen don't like her because she isn't a typical heroine. But that is exactly why I like her. She was angry and bitter, for good reasons. Raised to die for her father's selfishness. Hardly shown any love, her father only trains her, her Aunt is a bitter woman who Nyx knows spends the night in her father's bed. And her sister, is blissfully ignorant to the point where Nyx resents her for being their father's favorite and receiving his love.
Ignifex, not sure how to pronounce that, he was very intriguing. I figured out what was going on with him about half way in, maybe a little less I wasn't really keeping track. While some may find it predictable and boring to figure out what they assumed the twist was supposed to be, I consider that good writing. It made sense.
The last 20 pages or so, after a thing happens that shifts the story a little, I started to get a little confused. The ending was weird. And I'm not sure how I feel about it exactly. The way the ending was written and happened, kind of knocked a star off the rating for me. I still really enjoyed this book and I like when the hero or heroine is not a white knight or a someone with a pure heart. It makes them more human that way.