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Publisher's Summary

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom - all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.
Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her 17th birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the 900-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?
Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
©2014 Rosamund Hodge (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Patty on 01-30-14

Dark, Unexpexted, Not your average retelling

Would you listen to Cruel Beauty again? Why?

Definitely, its so much more than a retelling of a fairy tale, it is a story on its own with hints of a familiar tale, yet completely new. It left me wanting more of their struggle and their story... Sequel .... Please!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nyx, I always find myself disliking a weak female protagonist, but not here i loved her she is not the all good, pure girl, take what life gives her in silence, NOPE not here, i loved it how human and real the author makes her seem, i think we can all relate

Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Knowelden – was your favorite?

"The Prince" such a good job with the task.. at the end of the book you realize that it was such a hard task to ... shall we say portray all of his personality

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I did, the story grabs you and for a moment you think think you can let the computer alone ... only to immediately download it on your phone so you can keep listening while running errands

Any additional comments?

It id so worth one credit, but since i was out of them i spend money for this book and i do not regret it...

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By barefoot rabbit on 04-03-14

Seemed promising; ultimately hollow

I guess the other four few reviewers thought the book was great, so perhaps your feelings about this book will be a matter of taste. But if anything I describe here resonates in a bad way with you--avoid this one.

I love retellings, and thought this looked promising--after all, the author promises us early on that we're in for some unique worldbuilding and a fascinating relationship dynamic. Both are hollow promises the author puts very little effort into fulfilling. There's all kinds of potential, but what seems like it will be a fascinating mystery to figure out within the magic system of this world turns out to be only a glittery surface. You soon discover that the author didn't really put the time into working these elements out very well thoroughly and just plunged ahead with her shiny premise. In reality, there turns out to be actually very little mystery to any of it, and very, very little substance to the magic system. You'd think at *least* the romance might be at least a bit entertaining (come on, this is Beauty and the Beast!), but instead it was enormously unsatisfying and emotionally hollow--not because the characters didn't have potential, but because the author didn't put much work into developing them.

I waded through the endless repetitions of the protagonist raging on about her bitterness and feeling guilty about it--not in an interesting way, but in a monotonous way (seriously, this takes up about 3/4 of the book), hoping that the story would bloom at some point--but by the end, I was like, "That's it? REALLY?" The tidy little ending felt utterly false to me. Juvenile in the worst of ways--not in the best. No wonder, no magic, no depth.

All that to say, if you demand a little more substance out of a story--especially one that's been told many times exactly because it has such potential for exploration of its characters and themes--avoid this one, which to me was just another disappointing, hastily-written YA offering. Try either of Robin McKinley's retellings (either Beauty or Rose Daughter) if you're looking for something well-written and satisfying.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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