Fairy Tales #1 | 342 Pages | 2014
Cruel Beauty at a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★★
- Heroine: Slytherin queen
- Dude: Which one?
- Steaminess: That’s what floating gardens are for
- Brutality: Ripped apart by shadows
Pairs Well With
Hypnotic on ice
Holy wow. I had no idea what to expect going into this book and I am so pleased. This is a dark and twisty Beauty and the Beast meets Alice in Wonderland and I am here for it. (Thanks to Loretta for the Alice in Wonderland bit). If you are looking for a non-traditional retelling then this is the book for you. Add in a twist of Greek mythology and you have Cruel Beauty.
I picked this book up in a Book Outlet haul on recommendation from Loretta @LaughingListener. So a year later I finally started to read it as part of my whole “reading the owned TBR” goal. I can’t believe I was sitting on it for that long!
First of all, the main character’s name is Nyx (which is my dog’s name) after the Greek goddess of night. Both are super Slytherin, but luckily, I haven’t sold my dog to a demon lord to save my country.
Unfortunately for our main character Nyx, she has been forced to marry the Gentle Lord (aka demon) in a secret attempt to assassinate him. Here is where the whole Beauty and the Beast part comes into play, but it’s a very loose retelling. Nyx hates her family for raising her to be a sacrifice, as most of us would. I mean, if my dad raised me to be a sacrifice, I think I would be a touch resentful.
The world building is fantastic and rich.
Greek mythology is woven into the whole story in a way that makes it feel completely original. I wasn’t convinced either way on a happy ever after because I wasn’t sure if or how Nyx would defeat the Gentle Lord (or if I even wanted her to!) If you are into bad boys who may be nonredeemable…You got them.
The house of the Gentle Lord shifts and moves – like the Hogwarts staircases if they were really angry. And Nyx can only open about half of the doors with her key. I loved this house. Shifting doors and new magical rooms is one of my favorite settings and this was just MAGICAL. Dark. But magically dark. For a book that is set inside a single house, I didn’t feel any story claustrophobia. The moving rooms and elements of surprise were more than enough to keep me engaged and wanting more.
So does Nyx kill the gentle lord and save her town? Should she say “Screw you dad! You sold me to a demon!” Should she just live in the amazing water room forever? Probably all of these things. But if you are looking for something different, a retelling mixed with some weird demon doors and lots of shadows… READ THIS BOOK.
Have you read Cruel Beauty? Let me know what you thought in the comments!