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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

09 Dec

cover Cruel Beauty

An adventurous romance with an intricate twist of fairy tale and Greek myth.

The island of Arcadia is under a spell and ruled by the Gentle Lord, a demon who lives in a castle atop the hill. The Gentle Lord makes deals with his desperate citizens, but usually there is a hefty price to pay. Nyx Triskelion was one of those bargains. When her mother could not have a baby, her father asked the Gentle Lord for children. He was given twin girls, Nyx and her sister Astraia. In exchange for this boon, one of the girls was to become the Gentle Lord’s wife while the other lived her days out happily and peacefully. Nyx was the chosen daughter. As she wrestles with the burden of her fate, that she must be the Gentle Lord’s wife but also be the agent of his destruction for the entire island, she comes to find her new husband, Ignifex, is not at all what she had anticipated. Her sacrificial destiny is not her undoing but rather a blessing in disguise. While growing to know her new husband, his powers, and his labyrinth of a house, she discovers she is not a pawn in her father’s game, and that she deserves the love she was never afforded.

After all the comparisons of this book to the tale of Beauty and the Beast, the novel caught me much by surprise in that it only very loosely has ties to Beauty and the Beast. Rather, it takes another spin on Greek mythology, one that is not much written about either. With that being said, a video game about this book would probably be really fun, but the book had to gloss over a lot of the setting (which you’re very glad of, as you would’ve gotten lost!). As Nyx grows more familiar with Ignifex and his ways, as well as the mysteries of his house, her perceptions are changed and what she originally believes is no longer true. It’s a wonderful story of how blind prejudice or hatred can be overcome in closer proximity. It will pull you into such a mind-bending romantic mystery that you almost can’t predict what will happen!

Note: Graphic topics and sexual circumstances.

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