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Beauty & Cruelty

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Cruelty, once an evil fairy and now working in fast food, comes home one day to find the lazy, drooling King of Cats on her doorstep. Worse, he comes bearing news Cruelty would be happier not hearing: Sleeping Beauty has gotten tired of lying around and is trying to save the world Cruelty left long ago.

Any respectable Archetype knows it's a waste of time; their chances of
Published December 23rd 2015 by Less Than Three Press
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  105 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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"Beauty and Cruelty" is a really unusual and delightful read.

I've read a few fairy-tale revisions now where the starring couple is f/f but Katz puts a whole new spin on the traditional stories making them more relevant to our present day.

As people's beliefs in fairy-tales wanes so too does the fairy-tale realm itself. We follow Rue, a curmudgeon bad fairy otherwise known as Cruelty, that's hedged her bets and splits her time between our known world and her fairy-tale universe. She's a fun one t
AnnMaree Of Oz
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a Sapphic fairy tale retelling, and this sure was a unique spin!

The world of fairy tales and their characters is crumbling. Lack of belief in their stories is weakening their world, the magic in it, and the ones residing there.

Cruelty aka Rue, knew this and escaped into the human world. Working non-descript jobs in fast food and coffee shops, earning just enough to live, and gaining minimal magical sustenance to survive from the power of books in our world. But it's a pitiful existence f
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
4.5 Stars

I'm not usually one to read fairy tales and fairy tale re-tellings, but when I read about this on Netgalley, I had to request it because it just sounded so fun!

And it was. Fairy tales are REAL! And they all live in one place as "archetypes" essentially stating that some characters appear across numerous stories because they are the archetype for that character.

We start the story being introduces to Cruelty aka Rue (to those pesky humans) who is the evil fairy, commonly thought of as M
Nicole Field
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-f
Ah goodness, what to say about this one. I've spent a lot of time considering it, and how to rate it, because I felt this was definitely more an 'issues' book rather than a 'romance' book.

Romance is a part of this novel, to be sure, the romance between the two title named characters, Beauty, and Cruelty. Cruelty is our only PoV character. At the start of this book, she lives in the 'real world' rather than the world of fairy tales and fables. She has a home that is full of books, and she tries
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This ideas in this book were good but the execution was poor. Characters had long talks about ideals and representation that are important but felt forced at time. The two sets of romances felt rushed and fit in around the must get ideas across sections. I also really did not like how (view spoiler) ...more
Book Gannet
This one is tricky to review because although I liked aspects of this book – the story, Rue’s modern life and changing attitudes, the twists on old fairy tales – I did struggle to maintain my interest at times. Mostly, I think, because of Beauty and Rue’s relationship with her. That just didn’t work too well for me.

Anyway, the good things. Rue is an interesting character, packed with attitude and independence. She’s a bad fairy and she’s not interested in saving anyone but herself. Except even s
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
This book isn't so much a fairy tale romance itself, but more of a meta commentary on fairy tale romances. Not what I expected, but nonetheless a fresh and engaging story. I liked that many lesser-known fairy tale characters were included.

While the idea behind the novel is interesting, I'm not sure the execution worked for me.
Dannica Zulestin
So, there's a sort of parallel world of fairy tale archetypes that gain or lose power based on belief. Our protagonists are Talia (Beauty) and Cruelty, a sleeping beauty and an evil fairy. Talia has a plan to boost belief by bringing humans into the fairy tale world and Cruelty goes along with it, partly to save her world and partly just because Talia knows how to pull her strings.

I really liked the narrative voice, which had the right balance of emotional investment and practicality I expect ou
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairytale dilemma

Cruelty now lives with humans and works 2 jobs while revisiting her land when she can, she has a tempestuous relationship with Talia 'Beauty ' and is struggling to find her place.
A sweet read of trying to find a place to fit and finding romance in the most unexpected places!
Ghelik Black
I love fairytale reviews and rewrites, and this one is full of interesting characters and an interesting premise.
It is quick to read and well executed, even if it goes a little too on the nose with its message, and can be somewhat preachy towards the end.
Annabeth Leong
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book without much expectation. I wanted a fun read, saw "lesbian fairy tale," and thought, yes please. Then the book turned out to be so well written and so philosophically interesting.

The book is built on a Tinkerbell-type premise: creatures in a fantasy world are in danger because a growing human lack of belief in them is making their world crumble. But it gets much more interesting than that superficial description, and the answers the characters come up with felt very satis
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian-fiction
4-1/2 stars
I received an ARC of this book from Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not sure if this concept has been done before or not, but I found it refreshing and innovative, and it immediately grabbed my attention and dragged me into the book. The idea of these fairy tale Archetypes dying from disbelief, and deciding to do something about it just hit me the right way at the right time. Our main character, Cruelty, or Rue as she's known in the human world, is a villain,
Christine Close
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Jan 3 at 1:28 PM

Five Star: Contemporary Fairy Tale

Five Stars

I was sent this book by Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.

After reading this book the question I asked myself was, is this A very good true fairy tale being told, or, A good very true tale, being fairly told?

If you are looking for a happy magical light tale based on fairy tales this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a well written book that turns fairy tales on their heads and associates and aligns th
Katarina Ross
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Its fantastical reality, involving fairy tale archetypes, characters and powers, feels remarkably natural in this story of autonomy in the face of irrelevancy. The protagonist has two names, Cruelty and Rue. This encompasses the story's heart as it tackles what one is expected to be versus what one chooses to be. At first, Cruelty/Rue, is content to let her home world disappear as humans no longer believe in fairy tales, then is challenged to match the efforts of her foil, Beauty/Talia, who is t ...more
Chasia Lloyd
Nov 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Yes, yes, you caught me - I grabbed this because it's a F/F fairy tale.

The evil fairy Cruelty a.k.a. Rue spends most of her time in the human world these days, working tedious minimum wage jobs to support her book-reading habit. The girl she's enchanted in her home world, Sleeping Beauty, is rising up with a plan to draw humans into their world and give their stories new purpose. Of course, Cruelty and Beauty are madly in love with each other, even if Rue won't easily admit her feelings for Tali
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Beauty & Cruelty is an interesting take on the classic fairy tale characters. Their worlds are dying as fewer and fewer people believe their stories, and Talia, also known as Sleeping Beauty, has taken over, trying to get their belief back before the fairy tale world is completely destroyed. Rue, or Cruelty, Talia's curser, has been living in our world for ages, and knows Talia's plan needs to be handled on a larger scale. Even if she doesn't want any part of it.

This is a solid story with good w
Elisa Rolle
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Beauty and Cruelty by Meredith Katz
1) I don't often call a book brilliant anymore. This one, however, deserves it. The summary seems to promise a funny, light-hearted little story about fairy tale characters, a little meta-fiction so to speak. And it is that, yes, but it's also so much more. It's a story that asks big questions, about truth and identity, choices and change. And it's so incredibly well-written, you don't even notice what is happening until y
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-reviewed
This was a rather interesting intermingling of several old fairy tales that kept me chuckling through to the very end. While I feel like there could have been more in the way of content and conflict (as in there was plenty of missed opportunity to cause mischief) it was pretty good overall. I can’t see it being one I’d read again simply because the underlying suspense wouldn’t be present in a second reading but I would definitely recommend it for someone looking for a fun, decent read. With visi ...more
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Full Review To Come, but I had to say...

This book was amazing. The intertwining stories and the modern day crossovers, plus the tale of whether belief can be sustained in a world such as ours, was a lot of fun. Very interesting.

There were some wordy bits near the end that made the story drag, but I still loved the story of Cruelty. The inclusion of gay, lesbian, and polyamory relationships was really cool.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_in_2016
This was really quite good. The love scene bothered me due to the power imbalance but the book does address that later on in a most delightful way. I loved the idea of fairy tale rewriting themselves to be more inclusive.

This book was very well written. The author had a gift for prose and I'm looking forward to reading her other work!
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wlw, fantasy
I really enjoyed the retelling of Briar Rose and am actually curious to read some of the connected sub plots that are also retellings of other fairy tales. The conclusion could have been a little more tense and better elaborated on but enjoyed it nevertheless.
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Author of LGBT+ romance and speculative fiction! Likes humans, monsters, and the hazy places between the two.
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