C.G. Drews's Reviews > Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
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really liked it
bookshelves: retelling, magical-fantasy, read-2014, young-adult

Oh please, be still my fluttering heart. I'm so in love with this book. Not even ashamed. Not even trying not to fall for the villain.

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I'm such a sucker for fairy tale retellings. I loveloveloved the mixture of greek mythology into this. And just the pure strenght of the imagination. I squeaked every time I recognised something from Beauty and the Beast. But I also enjoyed how much originality was in this book. Seriously, it's really unique. It's NOT Beauty and the Beast as you know it. It's the swoonworthy version that I'm still crying about.

OMG THE BEAUTIFUL HEART BREAKING ENDING. So much love here. So. much. love.

Characters? I loved Nyx. She's a really strong heroine, but not in the "I can kick your butt before breakfast"...more subtle. She's fiery and intelligent. But she wants things. Love, you know, like most unwanted puppies do. I adored how she had a sister. While I didn't like the sister, I liked that this book includes family. Family is great! Even if your family sucks! Which, okay, Nyx's family sucked. (view spoiler) And also, I think Astraia was a (view spoiler) DIDN'T ANYONE JUST LOVE NYX FOR BEING NYX???

I thought I'd have more trouble with the names. But I didn't! I can't spell them, sure, but they never got mixed up in my mind. Oh, except for the sister being Astraia and the world being Arcadia. That wasn't a good idea. I adored the name Nyx and Ignifex. And Shade. My, my, his mother didn't love him did she, when she called him "Shade"? LOL I'M KIDDING. Ahem.

Which brings me to dear, dear Ignifex, the demon lord. 'Scuse me, I'm really shipping him and Nyx together, so so hard. I almsot always pick the under-appreciated "bad boy" if there's choices. So I knew I'd go for Ignifex the moment Shade was mentioned. It's not really a love-triangle...but it kind of is. But it's not the focus of this story.

You know what I really loved? Love and romance were both a HUGE deal in teh entire story. The plot centred around them! But still, the book managed not to be swallowed by steamy moments. It ploughed on with a real plot and magic and intrigue and desperation and...swoonworthy things. So love + decent storyline = thank you so much for this great book.

I won't lie, though, I was confused. There was a little TOO much going on with all the Greek mythology. Too many stories. Too much info-dumping. Too much you-are-not-you-but-you-are-him-or-something-but-not. And I don't know...I get lost really easily. That could be purely just me though. I'm still partially confused as to exactly what went down to make Ignifex...well, make him Ignifex. And the house was brilliant but confusing.

BUT I HAVE QUESTIONS. Which will go in the spoilers section, for sake of the delicate eyes who have not read this tale. PLEASE help me out if you know the answers. I need 'elp. (view spoiler)

I had doubts, but I really loved this book. I loved Ignifex and Nyx. I loved the ending.
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Quotes C.G. Liked

Rosamund Hodge
“If you start wondering how this house works, you'll likely go mad. That could be amusing, I suppose. Especially if it's the kind of madness that causes you to run naked through the hallways. Do feel free to indulge in that anytime.”
Rosamund Hodge, Cruel Beauty


Reading Progress

January 24, 2014 – Shelved
January 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
May 29, 2014 – Started Reading
May 29, 2014 –
page 109
32.44% "It's not half bad really."
May 30, 2014 –
page 256
76.19%
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: retelling
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: read-2014
May 30, 2014 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 30, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Amanda Shade was part of Ignifex if I remember correctly. He was like one side of Ignifex's character... I think... Now you see why I thought it was kind of a confusing book, but it was so good and beautiful, right?! Great review, btw!


Larissa Hehe glad you loved this one just as much as I did. The ending was quite confusing and but awesome! I remember reading it a lot.

(view spoiler)


C.G. Drews See that's what I thought...they're the same dude, just like Shade is the less-evil part? or something? I just got confused when Shade and Ignifex started talking to each other. x) I was very impressed with the book overall though!


message 4: by Kendra (new)

Kendra Ardnek Having not read the book, I wouldn't be able to say yea or nay on the spoiler (yes, I read it - that's how I roll - I read spoilers), but I would point out that in the original fairy tale there is a love triangle between the Beast and a charming prince who visits her in her dreams, and they later turn out to be the same person, if that sheds any light on the issue.


Amanda Kendra wrote: "Having not read the book, I wouldn't be able to say yea or nay on the spoiler (yes, I read it - that's how I roll - I read spoilers), but I would point out that in the original fairy tale there is ..."

Oh my gosh! That makes sooooooo much more sense then!


Angel Yep Shade and Ignifex are the same person. Towards the end of the book it explained that the prince bargained with the Kindly Ones to protect Arcadia and get the hatred out of him. Then the Kindly Ones basically ripped the prince into two. The kind Shade and then the evil Ignifex (the prince's hatred). I loved all the mythology stories so much! Every single one of them are clues and explanations to the main storyline. It's utterly brilliant!!


a n i s s a AHH, CAIT! I could not agree more with all of the things and YES GOD I LOVES THE VILLAINS! This book was amazing, despite a few little flaws! Great review!


Iana Ah Cait! I just finished reading the book and I had the same reaction as you! It was really beautiful but as you said there were quite a lot of info-dumps that somewhat confused me. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read. And yes Ignifex and Shade are one and the same. Think of it as the shadow and it's light. For there, to be a shadow there must be light. So Ignifex= Shadow, Shade = Light :)


message 9: by Sadia (last edited Jan 30, 2017 09:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sadia I know this is late but what the hell lol! I wanna comment. Ignifex and shade are part of Luc/lux (forgot his name lol). he was basically separated into two beings, Ignifex and shade. Ignifex is basically physical/power (body) and shade is the mental (mind). Ignifex didn't know anything because shade had all the memories, but shade couldn't do anything because he had none of the power, just the memories (I think that's it. but he didn't know that they were the same person). They needed to come together to become whole. I really loved this whole idea, as you said it is so unique and original (who would've guessed that??).

Also, Astraia was the one supposed to get married when everything went back in time. But nyx took her place because astraia loved someone, and according to tradition, when you get married to the Tom-a-lone (or something like that), you can't get married for a whole year.


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