GoodReads Summary: 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.Expected publication date: 28/01/14
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.
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I added Cruel Beauty to my tbr shelf immediately upon on seeing it on GoodReads, because 1) I love re-tellings and 2) high fantasy is one of favourite genres. CB had potential, but unfortunately it just didn't work for me.
Nyx is one the most frustrating characters I've ever come across. Her constant inner turmoil between doing what's right and wrong had me wanting to shake her. She would make her mind up about something and then in the next instant, completely out of the blue it would change. It was beyond madding. I mean I sympathize with her situation; being destined to a fate such as hers makes her resentment and anger totally justified. But it was too much, her hatred was so overpowering that it kind of waned at me sympathy; in my eyes she become unlikeable and because of that I wasn't able to connect with her character.
The romance in Beauty and The Beast is one that I've always liked, because it blossoms slowly and completely reels you in. In Cruel Beauty, however, it's the very opposite: insta-love. The first time she meets the love interest they kiss and then a couple of days later they are apparently in 'love'. It just didn't make any sense; how can you be in love with someone who you've only just met and barely know? What's more is that unlike the Beast from BatB there wasn't anything particularly likable about the love interest. There was no spark or chemistry between him and Nyx, which ultimately made the relationship hard to root for.
Although the writing in Cruel Beauty was gorgeous the world-building left a lot to be desired. I felt like there was too much information crammed in which made it difficult to digest and follow.
Overall, Cruel Beauty was not my cup of tea.