Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe)
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
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.
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.
Source: Edelweiss ( Thanks HarperCollins!)
I really enjoy fairy tale retellings.I am sure I have mentioned this various times. Fairy tales just fascinate me and they can be told in so many ways.They can be lighthearted or dark,hopeful or full of despair,set in the past or even in a dystopian world. There is so much to work with.
Cruel Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is a story I'm fond of especially because of Belle and the fact that the Beast can easily be portrayed as someone who has social anxiety because of physical deformities. Cruel Beauty in my opinion is an original spin on the classic Disney movie that I liked but without it's charm.This is mostly due to the fact that Cruel Beauty is much darker spin on the tale.
Nyx unlike Belle has been prepared since birth to kill the monster. She has a lot of rage.She has had years to nurse her rage.Of course, she's not all rainbows and unicorns like Belle.She's all dark and twisted. I didn't like her as much as a character but she certainly had much more depth than the happy go lucky Belle. Her attraction for the monstrous beast also makes more sense as she is also a monster inside.
The story manages to engage but does drag towards the end. There is also an implied sexual scene which I wasn't exactly sure fit in with the story. I think it just drove home the fact that the story is much more mature and darker than the classic one we,as readers have seen and heard.
Overall, I didn't like this story as much as I enjoyed the Cinder series(another retelling) but it's an interesting spin on the tale of Beauty and the Beast.