BOOK REVIEW: Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

cruel beautyTitle & Author: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Genre:  Young Adult- Fantasy, Romance, Mythology

Release Date: January 28th 2014

Series: Cruel Beauty Universe

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Source: Bought

Description: 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’m going to just dive in and say I really, really enjoyed this book- except for the ending. The spin on mythology in a slightly modern society with magic and demons really intrigued me. I also read really stellar reviews on this book so when I saw it on sale naturally I jumped at the chance to purchase it. The book itself did not disappoint. (Although I would have liked a bit more detail on the romance between Nyx and Ignifex but that’s just me.) What I did find was some confusing elements to the story and a very rushed ending.

The confusing aspects come from the fact that this book is based on a world in a bubble, because said people are trapped in the bubble they tirelessly work to master Hermetic Arts. They trap light, and nutrients and other things for food and survival. But when the worlds history essentially gets rewritten (because of spoiler things sorta. It’s confusing.) the new present world still uses Hermetic Art even though they are not trapped or in danger. Or have they every been in this new present time. What was the point?

The ending I can not really go into detail without essentially blowing all the spoilers out of the water. I did love Ignifex’s character and the aspect of his shadow and their backstory. The ending just seemed very…wish fulfilling. Everyone got what they wanted, happy people, the end. I would have been just as happy, if not happier if the story simply ended when things became rewritten. Looking back on it I would have probably been disappointed they didn’t end up together after all that development so I guess I’m just being picky. (I just think the rewritten history was a really cool idea to make a dark story end on a sad/bitter note.) Imagine you wrote this amazing story and then realized the way you wrote the plot things aren’t going to get you from Point A to Point B. At the last second you hastily through together some events that allow you to connect your initial starting point with the ending. That’s what it felt like.

Does this mean I won’t ever read anything else by Roamund Hodge? Hell no. I still loved the intricate detail of her story and marvelous world building. I will however, keep a very open mind with her books. I don’t want to get locked on one plot point and have another huge twist like that upset me. This being her first book from what I can see I am still very impressed by her work. She has created a very interesting universe where I look forward to reading about.


I really enjoyed this book, the characters, the world building and mythological aspects. The ending though really put a kink in my enjoyment. It was just so rushed and out of left field. I would have been happy with it ending before the great “rewrite” of history, but since this book had to have a happy ending it was all very forced.


Overall yes. I recommended this to a fellow blogger but warned her the ending might upset her.

Goodreads Amazon | Rosamund Hodge’s Website


3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

  1. I also reviewed this book recently and also loved it!! I thought the ending came a bit too easy as well, but at the end of it they deserve to be happy so I won’t gripe about it too much. The chemistry between the leads were amazing! I love Beauty and the Beast retelling so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved your review and I agree they are obviously meant to be together. I still really enjoyed the book even with the ending. Lovely blog by the way I love all the graphics!


Comments are closed.