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Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty

Scritto da Rosamund Hodge

Narrato da Elizabeth Knowelden


Cruel Beauty

Scritto da Rosamund Hodge

Narrato da Elizabeth Knowelden

valutazioni:
4/5 (167 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
10 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 28, 2014
ISBN:
9780062320032
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom—all because of a reckless bargain her father struck. And since birth, she has been training to kill him.

Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?

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.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 28, 2014
ISBN:
9780062320032
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She received a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle, Washington, with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Cruel Beauty; Gilded Ashes, a Cruel Beauty novella; Crimson Bound; Bright Smoke, Cold Fire; and Endless Water, Starless Sky. Visit her online at www.rosamundhodge.net.

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3.9
167 valutazioni / 83 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Man, this was a great book! Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairytale and the author did such a great job retelling it. I loved the take on it, and the magic and everything. It was so good that even though the romance was basically the main story line to the book (and to Beauty and the Beast), I didn't mind because it was written so well and the background was just amazing. Truly a great read :)
  • (1/5)
    Cruel Beauty was my second attempt with this author. Once again my weakness for eye catching covers lured me in spite of my previous experience. On one hand I was actually able to make it through the entire book which is more than I can say for [book: bright smoke, cold fire] where within 20 minutes of listening to the audio book I was left wondering baffled as to what the hell I had just listened to without enough curiosity to try and sort it out and continue. I found myself having the same issues with the authors writing as I did that first time I read her work. It felt like she was trying so hard to come up with something "new" while also recycling old tales/mythology but instead somehow ends up a tale that's both bizarre and predictably boring. Imagine beauty & the beast Sophie's choice some Titan/Pandora mythology, & a very literal case of multiple personality disorder. The cherry on to all of is is that everything about the world this story inhabits pretty much sucks. The land is cursed, the main character's family are simply awful and everything is so depressing and miserable that the "happy ending" isn't really enough to counter everything that came before it. I think this story could have been so much more enjoyable of she had gone with a retelling of one tale rather than off this off the wall mashup.
  • (4/5)
    Rewriting a fairy tale or putting your own spin on it is not easy. There is a lot to think about when it comes to character development, whether or not the new circumstances will work for the characters, and is this storyline just as original to the old one?Hodge gives YA readers and fans a new hero to root for: Nyx. She's not the beauty we've heard from the Disney storybooks. She's flawed, jaded, and resentful of her entire family. She has darkness inside, and even though she at times tries to hide it - eventually it comes out.With a beautiful twist of the classic French tale, where transformation occurs and things are not as quite as they seem, to Incorporated Greek myths and folklore - all of it encompasses a world of magic and mystery. My only complaint with the book is that, although sex was alluded to within the book, I wish it wasn't overlooked as it was in a historical context. In fact, I wish that Nyx originally would have been more upset by it. In these "ancient" times, marriage was a bartering system: a lord gives a man his daughter in exchange for a heir. Women were currency, and I wished that the author could have had Nyx voice her opinion more on it. Also, I wished that Nyx could have displayed her sexuality more positively in the story. The intimate moments are all well and good, but the author could have gone further.But I enjoyed reading about a dark hero who encompasses more complex ideas and schemes, who wants to educate herself and do more with her life despite her fate... who even shows her vulnerability when she is at the lowest point in the story.
  • (4/5)
    I read this in one sitting (well, and lying down, since I finished it in bed). I loved the completely non-traditional heroine--angry, hard, dealing with major family issues--bartered away to the Gentle Lord, the Lord of the Demons. The plot of this book gets complex, much more so than Nyx, the heroine, had anticipated. The mantra drilled into her from childhood, "Revenge your mother, kill the Gentle Lord," becomes much more difficult as the Gentle Lord is a match for her anger and rage and has his own story behind his behavior. Nyx is an angry young woman, but she has a conscience. As both sides of the story start to become clearer (as clear as they can), she starts to realize what it's like to be accepted for being herself. It's a well-developed story with fully drawn characters, all of whom hide things from themselves--either by choice or because they've been made to forget. I found it a fascinating story and want to read it again since I read it so quickly to find out what was going to happen, I know I missed things.
  • (5/5)
    I am super surprised because I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to like this but it turns out I really loved it! It is such a wonderfully magical and whimsical story. I got super attached to the characters in this book and was really worried about how it was going to end because I really didn't want anything bad to happen to them. I can't put into words how much I loved it! I don't know what I'm going to do now. It would literally be amazing to read what would happen next and see how Nyx's family would react, that would be so satisfying. 4.5/5 Stars
  • (4/5)
    A beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast where the girl is okay looking or something in comparison to her sister and is very scholarly and the guy is really hot but is terrifying because he rules over Thanos' children...it makes sense when you read it.Nyx has been groomed to defeat the evil Gentle Lord. Her father offered her up in exchange for her and her sister's birth because his wife was depressed about not bearing any children. Once Nyx turns of age she becomes his bride and moves into the castle where she finds mystery behind every door in the enormous castle.This was a strange retelling mixed with a little more Bluebeard, reverse Rumplestilskin (where she has to guess his name in order to save him and herself), greek mythos, and -strangely- allusions to bible verses the only one coming to mind right now is Ruth's declaration to Naomi that where she would go Ruth would follow (it makes more sense when you read it).It's beautifully written and mostly well executed with the exception of the ending why introduce time travel? I hate when it's used as a nice little scapegoat to reverse the stupidity of a character. But I loved Nyx and all her flaws. If indecisiveness of a protagonist drives you insane it's best to skip this one because she goes back and forth between hating her family but not really, resenting her sister but not really, hating Ignifex but falling in love in with him while simultaneously making out with his blue eyed twin shadow Shade in the next moment. There's a love triangle. Overall I liked this book and those few little tidbits of frustration accumulated into deducting a full star and a half from what could easily have been a 5 star review.
  • (2/5)
    This book started out so promising, with a fairly relatable main character as a charming evil lord for her to interact with, it then when downhill very quickly. The plot was confusing and jumped from one storyline to another, and the adding in of Greek mythology just seemed unnecessary. In the end I couldn’t even bring myself to finish it.
  • (1/5)
    This story is awful. The main character has good reason to be angry, but the way the character is written I find myself wanting the story to end with her dying.
  • (3/5)
    It's a strange story. Almost like a fable.
    Kind of like a psychological work on the questions of good and bad, guilt and love wrapped in a fantasy/fairy tale.
    But it was kind of boring after a while, this inner monolog of Nyx soI definitely won't read it a second time.
  • (5/5)
    I appreciate that the heroine was complex and made bad choices and hurt people she loved, because (in my opinion at least) it’s more true to human character. People make mistakes and do things they regret and act out of hurt/resentment/anger. The main character is filled with all sorts of not-pretty emotions and makes choices that hurt people she cares about and choices she’s ashamed of. She struggles with guilt and self-hate and shame and a desire to be better than she is. These are all things I’ve felt before, so it helped me to relate to her and feel compassion towards what could potentially be a very frustrating character if you’re looking for a more traditional “good girl” heroine. I like that the author gave the girl and her love interest flaws but that they chose to overcome them, try to become better, apologize to each other when they regret their decisions, and overall decide to work on learning to be better people.

    Also, for me at least, this was a very confusing/complex story. I listened to the audio book and had to rewind it fairly often and re-listen to chapters because I wasn’t grasping what was happening. I think if I had read a physical book rather than listening to it I would have struggled less with grasping the more complex plot points.

    I’m excited to read more by this author, I really enjoyed the dark, complex take on fairytales.
  • (5/5)
    The intrigue and suspense never ended. It was absolutely beautiful.
  • (5/5)
    Yay! I finally have this review up :D Cruel Beauty was an AMAZING mix of Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology! I devoured every bit of Nix’s story! If you are a fan of fantasy, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy.

    First of all, the author incorporated lots of amazing mythology and creative types of magic into Cruel Beauty. The world was so complex and vivid! I was completely immersed. However, the flip side is that there is a lot of page space devoted to world building. So, if tons of world building isn’t your cup of tea, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    Rosamund Hodge has mastered the art of writing different kinds of relationships. To everyone around them, Nyx and her sweet sister are seemingly fine. However, both have feelings of hate and uselessness under their skin. There is also an interesting Father/Daughter relationship. There is even a progress in the relationship between the mother and her daughters... despite the fact the mother is in the grave the entire book!

    The romantic relationships were amazing. Ignifex and Slate both had their faults... but as more is revealed, the more your feelings change. I was, personally, an Ignifex fan. I didn’t trust Slate at all. However, both were dark, complex characters that intrigued me immensely.

    My favorite part of Cruel Beauty was Nyx’s temperament. She isn’t perfect. She isn’t a selfless hero. She is a scared, angry girl sent to her death by her own family. She has never dreamed of a better life, and is constantly upped by her sister. She has tried to be someone she isn’t for a long time, and I loved seeing her grow! Read this post for more context on why I loved Nyx so much!

    Also, I was dazzled by Ignifex’s castle! It contained so many mysteries and I loved the atmosphere. As Nyx explored, found magical rooms, and ran into dark creatures, I felt as if I was right there with her... captivated by the wonders and secrets!

    The ending of the book was perfection: unexpected, inventive, and it gave me lots of good feels! The book also leaves the reader with several strong messages. Despite my love for the conclusion, I was still very sad when this beautiful novel came to an end.

    Also, it should be known that I listened to the audiobook of Cruel Beauty. It was an amazing experience! The narrater, Elizabeth Knoweldon, had all the characters down perfectly. However, I am definitely ordering a hardcover for my shelf and rereading! If Cruel Beauty sounds up your alley, you should probably go grab the book too :D

    4/5 Stars
  • (4/5)
    A nice little twist ending, pay close attention or you will have to reread the last 3 chapters.
  • (4/5)
    The Writing:
    The author's style is pretty. Sometimes almost poetic, but not so much as to be distracting.

    The World Building
    I really loved the word the author set up. It wasn't the sort of world I'd want to live in--far to cruel--but it was fascinating anyway.

    The Characters
    None of the main characters are pure and innocent cinnamon roles deserving of protection. To be honest, I quiet enjoyed following a somewhat malevolent heroine for once. I usually hate when storybook heroines spout about what dreadful people they are. Their character arcs usually fall quite flat, because they're typically pretty nice to begin with. Their guilt doesn't ring true. In this case, however, Nyx really is rather dreadful, but not irredeemably so. She has a lot of personal issues, and is incredibly bitter, but she's also loyal.

    I did end up liking Ignifex as a character. He's no perfect cinnamon roll either, and as the king of demons, I suppose he's licensed to be pretty rotten at times.

    Shade was...I was conflicted about him. I didn't feel like he was as fleshed out as he could have been, but perhaps that was the point.


    The love story:
    Mushy. Far mushier than I like. Lots of mush. So much so that I'd feel a little weird recommending the book to people, for fear of being branded 'that kind of reader', if you know what I mean. Sometimes that can be a deal breaker for me, and that's why I've deducted a star.

    BUT

    The Fairy tales:
    There were a lot. This really ties into the world building, but there were so many fairy-tales and myths and legends woven into this story, and I LOVED it. Some reviews called it messy and tangled, but I think it's supposed to be. It was so much fun going through the book and catching all the little hints and finding all the Easter eggs. (There were nods to some of the well-beloved fantasy books of more modern times as well.) In the end, that's what kept me reading, because I loved how the stories, tales, myths and legends meshed into one story.

    I really enjoyed this book. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, and it is a bit confusing at times if you're not paying attention, but I'm glad I've discovered it.
  • (4/5)
    ((If you're looking for a proper review(Ha!), move along.))

    I didn't know what to think of this book until I turned the last page. Even then, I was left with my jaw open, wondering "What in the world just happened?"

    I sped through this book. Even the parts I hated(or at lease, I think I hated - this book really messes with your emotions) didn't stop me from devouring this book like it was the most scrumptious dessert I'd ever had the pleasure to taste.

    German Chocolate Cake. This book would be German Chocolate Cake.


    It looks weird doesn't it? But it tastes marvelous.

    Eventually, I settled on four stars. Because I enjoyed it.

    I think.

    There is one thing, at least, I can say with surety. This is the most unique take on Beauty and the Beast I've ever read.

    I'd probably even...*gasp*...read it again.
  • (5/5)
    This book was soooooo good! I was always on the edge of my seat! I would totally recommend this!!!
  • (4/5)
    I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed it. It started slow, but once she's actually in the Kind Lord's house, the pace picked up. It made me think about how the Beauty and the Beast story is similar to the Cupid & Psyche myth. This book did have me feeling a lot more anger than I'm used to feeling during a BotB-themed read: towards her relatives - all of them; towards Shade; towards...pretty much every character in the book actually. I loved the point that cruelty is an innate part of human nature and it's to what lengths we'll go to fight it that defines our character.
  • (5/5)
    I haven’t had a book this good in a long time. She is definitely one of my favourite authors now and I will go ahead and read every book she has on here
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful book! And amazing narration! The story flowed through the pages like a river. It was so achingly beautiful. And the narrator did a wonderful job-I absolutely loved it!!

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    This is a strange book. A young girl knows that her father has betrothed her to an evil lord and has planned all her life on killing him but finds herself drawn to him partly through her own unhappiness. Sounds like a simple Beauty and the Beast tale, right? But it is a very dark story with odd twists and turns. As far as recommending this book, I would but only to upper class high schoolers. Too dark for anyone else...
  • (5/5)
    I've said it hundred of times: I have a thing for fairy tales... especially retold ones.
  • (4/5)
    “Cruel Beauty” really is beautiful, and not at all what I expected. The beginning was confusing but my determination to get it over with was rewarded with a darkly dazzling romance story which (I’m not ashamed to say) left me feeling warm and fuzzy by the end. Filled with suspense and humor, complete with an atypical heroine with a bad attitude and an irresistible demon, this book was unique and entertaining.

    17-year-old Nyx Triskelion is about to get married, but what would normally be a joyous occasion is cause for dread and barely concealed rage in her case. Because of a foolish bargain her father made before she and her fraternal twin sister Astraia were born, Nyx is to be married to the demon ruler of Arcadia, the Gentle Lord. Her only consolation is that she’s been trained since childhood to kill him. In doing this she will both avenge her dead mother and free Arcadia from the rule of the Gentle Lord and his pestilential demons. Before long her mission of revenge/deliverance, her jealousy of Astraia, and her longing for her unapologetic father’s love all take a back seat as Nyx finds herself falling for a near stranger who knows her well.

    This book was not what I was expecting considering the Beauty and the Beast theme. Had I not been told about it, I don’t think I would have immediately made the connection. The characters are very different and everything is flipped around, making for a new and captivating tale. The main character, Nyx, has a terrible attitude, which is completely understandable considering the fact that from a young age she’s been told that she will be sacrificed to a demon while her sister will be spared. Her father Leonidas, far from the chubby, short, and lovably dopey dad of Beauty an the Beast, is a quietly despicable character and I found myself wanting to see Nyx get back at him. The Gentle Lord, aka Ignifex, is undoubtedly a monster but he’s also a lust-worthy specimen of a man from day one.

    While reading “Cruel Beauty” I kept wishing I had paid better attention in class while learning Greek mythology. There’s a heavy dose of Greek mythology in this book so it helps if you’re well versed with that. Otherwise, like me, you may feel like you need to read it all over again to fully grasp everything. Nonetheless, I’m glad to see that it was included because it gave the story greater dimension.

    "Cruel Beauty" was fun to read; I loved the clever world-building. I was looking for a different ending but it’s still a good one and not entirely predictable. 4/5 stars.
  • (4/5)
    Cruel Beauty was a book that I honestly didn't expect to like, where as I might not have loved it , I cant say that I hated it. Cruel Beauty has a lot of similarities to Beauty and The Beast, but Rosamund Hodge took the best bits and made it completely her own.Eveyone knows the story of Beauty and The Beast right? Young girl agrees to stay in a castle with a hideous beast in her fathers place? Well in Cruel Beauty, Nyx unlike Belle, has always knows that she would end up with Ignifex for a husband. Ignifex is known as the Gentle Lord, the price of demons and Nyx has been training since birth to kill the Gentle Lord and free Aracdia from the curse that was put on the town decades ago. Nyx's mother and father, like so many others, went to Igifex for a favour and came away with much more than they bargained for, leaving Nyx's mother dead and Nyx betrothed to someone before she could even walk.Once they are married, Nyx starts to see another side to him. Yes he is as cruel as everyone thinks, yes he doesn't seem to have any remorse for the pain he causes people but Nyx finds a piece or her self that connects with the cruelty we see in Ignifex. As we get a little bit deeper into the story we see that Cruel Beauty also has similarities to Rumpelstiltskin, which we see as Ignifex ask his wife every night after dinner before bed, to guess his real name. And in doing so he will be free of his job role of Gentle Lord. At first it seems like just another game, as guessing wrong would leave her dead, but soon we realise that he is just of a prisoner as the rest.During the day Nyx spends her time with the mysterious Shade, searching for clues to who her husband is, any help to kill him, and the secrets behind the doors that were once looked before she stole the keys. As she comes closer and closer to not only the truth, but the new men in her life, she tries to come to terms with the fact that things aren't how the seem and will never be the same again.Want to know why I liked it? I guess part of the reason was because I expected to dislike it, I know its bad of me to judge a book before I've even read it but honestly, I don't know what else to tell you. I also loved Ignifex, his character at times was a little bit tiring, but as a whole I really liked him. I didn't like Shade much, or Nyx, I mean don't get me wrong, their character's were well written but at times I just couldn't connect to them. I would have liked if the story was dragged out over maybe 3 books. Towards the end I found the story to be a bit rushed but everything else seems to be spot on, the character development and world building were perfect. I just myself really enjoyed the story and I'm glad I had the chance to read it :)
  • (4/5)
    All of her life, Nyx has been trained by her father to defeat the Gentle Lord. The Gentle Lord rules the demons that separated the land of Arcadia from the rest of the world and that torment the people of the land. Years ago, Nyx' father bargained with the Gentle Lord. Now, seventeen years later Nyx must pay the price for her father by marrying the Gentle Lord. Her father has trained her in the Hermetic arts in order to bring down the Gentle Lord and free the people of Arcadia. When Nyx finally meets the Gentle Lord, Ignifex and his shadow, Shade, she learns that there is much more to the Legend than she ever thought, and that there is much more to her and her destiny.An awesome fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a dark side and a bit of mythology thrown in. I was really interested in the Kindly Ones and the bargaining process. Nyx was an intriguing character, by feeling unwanted by her own family, she is perfect to be taken in by the Gentle Lord and Shade. The touches of evil and the necessary evil themes made the story unique. The love triangle was expected, but turned out to be very different. I was really interested in this world and the way it works, this is explained gradually throughout the book and brought up more questions as others were answered; but, being the first book set in this universe, hopefully more questions will be answered there.
  • (3/5)
    I wanted to love this. I only liked it.
  • (3/5)
    Well, I think my true rating for this book is 2.5 stars, but I did like the ending so that gave it the little boost to 3 stars. To start with, I never really liked the character Nyx. There was just something about her that I never really liked. Then at times I was just a bit confused and I found I would have to reread a passage to hopefully understand. Also, there were times when I was just bored. But, like I said, I did like the ending.I know I may not have liked this book too much, but there is another book of Rosamund's that I do want to read. I won't let this book put me out on any other books of hers. Each book deserves a chance.
  • (3/5)
    Very very intriguing tale loosely based on The Beauty and The Beast with a nice touch of Greek mythology. Well paced, the book is pleasurable to read, and even though the main climax is predictable, the reader is in for a lot of delectable little surprises, the doomed bargaining chip heroine is deliciously twisted, and the main characters equally flawed in pursuing their hearts' desires; but the one I loved the most was the castle itself, room after room, slowly unveiling half-truths as repeated tragedies unfold, a character in its own right.
    I spent an enjoyable day in the company of cruel beauty and the world of Arcadia, and would recommend it for a brisk, gritty fantasy romance read.
  • (5/5)
    Such a sweet re-telling of beauty and the beast. I felt like I was falling in love right along Nyx. I was hooked from the very first sentence " I was raised to marry a monster." I felt like it was pretty easy to figure out the mystery of Ignifex and his orgins. I adored Ignifex and Shade , by the end you could see the softer side of Ignifex and think of him less as a monster. I would love to see a little mermaid retelling ." Though mountains melt and oceans burn, The gifts of love shall still return."
  • (3/5)
    Raised specifically to hate and marry the demon that caused her mother's death and rules the kingdom, Nyx is jealous of her twin sister who will have a life to live. But her arranged marriage, and her husband do not turn out as expected.
  • (4/5)
    Thanks to Edelweiss and Balzer Bray for allowing me access to this title.

    I love retold fairytales. And at the top of that list would be Beauty and the Beast. While this is not an exact retelling of that fairytale, the flavor of it remains the same. There is a mixture of mythology and fairytale and magic that is an original story of its own.

    What isn't to love about a story where the princess gets to save the prince instead of the other way around?