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Cruel Beauty

(Cruel Beauty Universe)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  86,688 ratings  ·  11,183 reviews
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 everyt
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  86,688 ratings  ·  11,183 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, I thought this was wonderful.

What is Cruel Beauty?

• It's a gorgeously written blend of Beauty and the Beast retelling and Greek mythology.
• It's at once a powerful, wonderful, heart-breaking love story and so so much more than that.
• It's a dark tale that stabs you in the heart at every turn and constantly throws all new levels of craziness into the mix.
• And it's the latest addition to my favourite YA of all time shelf.

Cruel Beauty shouldn't work. But somehow it does. It managed to have m
Kat Kennedy
I don’t know if Cruel Beauty truly deserved five stars on merit but goddamnit I’m awarding it all the points for enjoyability. All of them. I loved the hell out of this story. The passion. The intrigue. Ignifex. Nyx’s rage. Ignifex. All the kissing. Nyx.

This book kind of had it all for me. Plot, mystery, intrigue and a whole lot of making out. It’s almost like Hodge was trying to distract me from the crazy plotholes and loose story structure. It was fantastic! I haven’t been this entertained by
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
If one of us had to die, it ought to be the one with poison in her heart.
Actual rating: 3.5

Maybe it's just me, but I've rarely encountered a Beauty and the Beast retelling that I haven't loved. Ok, except Beastly. That abomination was just horrible all the way around. And let's not even mention the movie. Some people just have the kind of face that just begs for an encounter with my fist, and pretty boy Pettyfer is one of them. But I digress.

This was a very enjoyable read, though not
For one moment, I felt like a river running down to his ocean.

i feel like i need to drop a few lines here about what, precisely, i felt was lacking in this story. i so rarely throw down a fewer-than-three-stars rating on here, i figure an explanation may be helpful. i'm not going to go into too much plot-detail, since there are a bazillion reviews of this book already on here - i just want to have a record of my own reaction, for the day when some stranger asks me WHYYYYYYYYYYYY i didn't like th
Whitney Atkinson
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
I loved the first 100 pages of this book so much that i was 99% sure it'd be a 4 or 5 star book. I loved the writing and the main character's sass, and the "Dark Lord" or whatever his title is was REALLY interesting. But holy moly, this book does a 180. It starts out strong but turns into trash. HORRID instalove, obnoxious and confusing love triangle (??????), and I was completely baffled by the world/magic system. I'm not sure if it's because I listened to it on audio, but i am SO confused by e ...more
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
huh. im really quite shocked. this is the first ‘beauty and the beast’ retelling that i havent enjoyed. ive read and loved so many, so for me to not click with this is a major disappointment.

i appreciate the unique spin on a classic story, but i found the pacing to be slow, the writing to be dull and repetitious, the characters to be unlikable, and the world-building to be confusing and out of place. there really wasnt much that i liked about this, to be honest, and im super jealous of all the
Steph Sinclair
I have to give the narrator, Elizabeth Knowelden, some credit here. She tried. She really, really tried to salvage this book by giving the main character tons of personality, but not even she could change the source material. The fact is that Cruel Beauty made absolutely no damn sense.

How does the magic work? I dunno.

Who are the real bad guys? I dunno.

Wait, what's the SECRET. Well, I dunno because Nyx learns it and then FORGETS it on the next page to conveniently keep the plot rolling. Awesome.

Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
3.25 - 3.5 Stars

Last night I got a bee up my ass and decided to count and see how many unread physical books I have on my home library shelves...and let’s just say the number was pretty shameful.

Thus, I decided it was time to cull the herd. So decided I would try the cliched booktube trend of reading first chapters of books that have been on my shelves awhile...unhauling anything that didn’t at least mildly capture my attention.

This book has been on my shelves the longest, so I grabbed it and
enqi ༄ؘ 。˚ ⋆♡
They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense. But now I knew that every mad word was true. For Ignifex was still himself, still mocking and wild and inhuman, terrible as a legion arrayed for war; but in my arms he became gentle, and his kisses were sweeter than wine.

I've realised you see things very differently when you're 18 and when you're 22. This book is proof of that. I was utterly enchanted and in love with this book 4 years ago but after
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
*, I was going to add something but I forgot! 🤨 The Audio is great though!

When I first started the book I was disappointed and thought I would not like it because it seemed to drag for me. It took a few chapters for me to get interested, pretty much when Nyx got to her wonderful husband's home, the evil Ignifex.


She is supposed to be killed by her husband at some point in time, how is that for a honeymoon! But, and there is always a but, Ignifex is not what he seems. Yes, he has the
Mohammed Arabey
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the Best, Angriest, Cruelest, Beautiful Retellings..

Not just a different retelling of a 'story as old of time',

But it also mixed with as many of ancient Greek Myths.

And by the end you'll feel that it's came so, Original.

الجميلة والوحش هي قصة قديمة كالزمن، لكن في أعادة الحكي القاسية، الغاضبة، الجميلة تلك الأمر مختلفا
فهي لم تكتفي بأعادة حكيها وإنما أيضا مزجتها بأساطير أغريقية عتيقة...وببناء عالم مختلف وسماء من ورق

وبمشاعر 'بشرية' أكثر واقعية، بقسوة
قصة تلاعبت بالزمن لتنتج بعض الجمال
Even if yo
Claudia Lomelí
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, cover-love
I'm not sure of what to think of this book... I really loved it... but at the same time I didn´t? Let me try to arrange my thoughts...

I was very excited about this book, so I was a little dissappointed because I wasn't really digging it and I was already at page 100... but after that it really became really really good! I started to like the characters and I kinda fell in love with the Gentle Lord, Ignifex <3.

I think that I wasn't liking it at the begining because Nyx is always changing her mi
Let me say it now: Cruel Beauty is one fantastic, gorgeously written, spectacularly dark debut. Many of its aspects may not appeal to some readers, and I understand that; although I really loved how the romance in Cruel Beauty and the "love triangle" (note the quotation marks--don't run off) played out, I do understand why some other readers, a handful of my friends amongst them, take issue with much of this novel.

But honestly, it's been over a week since I've finished Cruel Beauty, and I have
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
2 Stars

Mini-review since it's been like a month since I read this whoops.


- engrossing writing style
- Audiobook narrator with the voice of a goddess
- A fun combination of Greek mythology and Beauty and the Beast retelling
- Main character who's allowed flaws and to be complex


- In the quest to make the MC complex they made her indecisive and fickle. (she seriously couldn't make up her mind about anything for more than two pages)
- None of the characters have a real conversation ever. They
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This book, I would have preferred to read written for adults. It is mostly a romance, with a lot of talk of virginity, ravishing, tearing off dresses, etc. But because it's YA, despite being quite sensuous, it doesn't go further than kissing. Too bad really, I don't come across many good adult romances, and setup of "Cruel Beauty" is perfect for creating all kinds of convenient excuses to facilitate sexy times.

I enjoyed mythology/fairy tale mix as well, although I got lost a little in
♛ may
I don’t get what the point of this book is?

It’s supposed to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but we got one hell of a desnse-uninteresting-FRIVOLOUS-beauty and one hell of a not-so-beastly-beast.

- description

Not to mention, the insta-love, the love triangle, the my-determined-will-is-broken-by-a-single-kiss, the exhausting amount of lust, it’s all M E S S.

So, this girl, Nxy, is supposed to save her kingdom by being wedded to the Gentle Lord. She and her father devised a plan to kill him to free
Drcong O '
3.9ish stars

This was so so so good and I loved it way more than I was expecting to. I did have some small issues which is why I didn't give it full five stars.

Rtc after my exams,

Buddy read with Inej dominating Kaz who i ditched lmao
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-owned-read
This book really surprised me.

When I was first reading this book I was not really digging it, I thought I had a handle on where the story was going, and therefore I thought it was too predictable. However, this story did not follow the stereotypical path that I thought it would. I still guessed the ending halfway in, but I enjoyed the ride nonetheless. The amount of predictability that may or may not be present in this book is not the important part, no, the important part is the story. The sto
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Everyone was telling me I would hate this book, and I did not! While it did have its faults, I enjoyed what it was trying to do and the general theme, even if the execution failed at times. It is a Beauty and the Beast/Hades & Persephone hybrid with some folklore mixed in. I cannot hate it.

A review to come when I've fully collected my thoughts!
Cardan Greenbriar
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-cup-of-tea
me: so this is a serious version of Jude and Cardan
brain: hehe yes, i guess a version of it

me: *high fives brain*

me: *injures brain*
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I realize that this book doesn't come out for quite a while, but as soon as it downloaded on my Kindle, I started reading it right away, and once I'd finished it, there was no holding back the feels.

This book is amazering.

It's half:

And another half:

And considering Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney movies/fairy tales and the Cupid and Psyche myth is probably my favorite in the entire Greek mythology canon...

This book has some of the coolest worldbuilding I've seen in a YA novel. O
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
In Cruel Beauty, Nyx has been trained since birth to be an assassin so that she can fulfill her father's bargain to marry the demon lord, with the ultimately goal of killing him and bringing about the end of a 900-year-old curse that he had unleashed upon her town. Sounds promising, right? I love a good fairy tale retelling as much as the next person. But unfortunately, this story left me mostly confused.

When a girl is advertised to be an assassin, I expect a badass slaying demons left and right
Simona B

"Why wasn’t my hatred simple anymore?"

I'm going to start this review doing a thing I usually find useless and infuriating, but which I am nonetheless sure every reader does, at least from time to time: a comparison. And a random enough comparison at that.
Not that many days ago I finished another ya novel that all of you probably know, and that is Angelfall by Susan Ee. You see, I thought I needed to mention it because of this curious question that popped up in my mind as soon as I turned
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy, 2017, ya
“Where you go, I shall go; where you die, I shall die, and there will I be buried.”

4.5 stars

I honestly expected to hate Cruel Beauty. I don't read many books with an average rating of under 4 on GR because so far, I only ended up liking 3 or so. So you can only imagine my surprise when I found myself enjoying this book. I heard many negative things about Cruel Beauty and I was waiting for something terrible. I decided to read it because I was in this fairy tale retelling mood and I'm glad I

Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it

I found a rose garden under a glass dome; the roses formed a labyrinth in which I always got lost . . .

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 k
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love twisted fairy tale retellings, and “Cruel Beauty” definitely hits the mark for me. This is more than a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” though. It is a story on its own, with hints of a familiar tale yet completely new.

Nyx has been trained from an early age to marry Ignifex, aka the Gentle Lord, then kill him and free her kingdom. He is beautiful, wicked, seductive, and with a really ugly side. When her wedding day comes and she is suddenly married and trapped in his beguiling house -

I HATE finishing a book that I absolutely adored reading - it makes me walk around in a depressed state as I come to realization that I might not hear from the characters again, that I might not find such a wonderful book again ... This is how I feel right now: Torn. Thrilled. Depressed. Jovial.

Putting aside my momentary depression, I read Crimson Bound first and loved Hodge's world building and writing - so naturally, I picked this book up and was not disappointed. If anything, I loved
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

CRUEL BEAUTY was our October book of the month in the Unapologetic Romance Readers group - in fact, it won by a massive landslide. Not that I was surprised. CRUEL BEAUTY made quite a stir when it was first released; it seemed like everybody was singing its praises and mooning over Ignifex. On the surface, it sounded like a great story - love and death, revenge, magic, fairy-tales, demon lovers. That's Nenia to a T. But it was also YA. An
Aj the Ravenous Reader

Maybe 2.5 stars?

The first 100 pages are really enjoyable and very intriguing. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because of the promising plot-Nyx marrying with the intention of assassinating Ignifex, a demon/monster to save the land of Arcadia. But soon she learns that her husband isn’t what people thought he’d be. Her first few attempts at killing him were just so hilarious and I was really convinced I’m going to love the book.

But then a few chapters later, things just got weirder and wei
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Catholic. Writer. Lay Dominican. I write books about gods & death & girls with knives. Latest: ENDLESS WATER, STARLESS SKY.

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