Review – Cruel Beauty

Posted May 25, 2016 by Nicky in Reviews / 6 Comments

Cover of Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgesCruel Beauty, Rosamund Hodges

There were some aspects of this Beauty and the Beast reworking I found really interesting — mostly, the Greek mythology that was mixed in. It didn’t feel like a typical woodsy-castle-y faux-medieval-y setting, which was refreshing, and the references to the Kindly Ones — aka the Furies — worked pretty well for me. The complex relationship between Nyx and her sister was actually kind of interesting too; it’s not straightforward, because everything is not as it first appears, and neither of them are honest to each other.

But otherwise, there were a lot of aspects of this I just couldn’t get into. Both the relationships the main character had just felt off, despite the attempt to show a dichotomy between the two where one, to borrow Tolkien’s phrasing, ‘looks foul and feels fair’ and vice versa (except mostly acts/feels; they’re both handsome, as I recall). The romance tends to the insta-love trope, and given that Ignifex never makes himself really pleasant (unlike, say, T. Kingfisher’s Beast in Bryony and Roses).

There are some interesting aspects, as I said, but looking back at it as I write this somewhat belated review, it definitely never came together for me, and it didn’t really become memorable either.

Rating: 2/5

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6 responses to “Review – Cruel Beauty

  1. I’ve wanted to read Rosamund Hodges for so long. I really should get on that, though probably not starting with this book because I’m honestly a bit burned out on Beauty and the Beast, plus, it sounds like it has its issues. Maybe Crimson Bound, or the new book she has coming out later this year.

    • Yeah, it’s not that fresh a twist on the story. I miiiight check out something else by Rosamund Hodges; there was enough there to make me curious.

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t like this better. I listened to the audiobook a while ago, I think it was one of the first reviews I posted on my blog, actually. And I liked it okay but I get what you’re saying about the romances. I liked the setting, too, though it was sometimes a bit hard to follow because I was listening to the book, like I couldn’t go back and check to see if I’d missed something.
    I haven’t read Crimson Bound yet but I’m curious about it, so I’ll probably get to it sometime soon.

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