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.
My Thoughts: I'm going to be honest. The reason why I read this book was because of the gorgeous cover! I love how the red of the rose and Nyx's dress pop out against the darkness of the rest of the cover. Plus, it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite fairy tale. As much as I wanted to enjoy this book, though, I found myself disappointed at the end.
The plot had huge promise, but it was not executed well. I was intrigued with the idea of Nyx being betrothed to the evil king from birth and having to be raised to kill to him. But when Nyx got to the castle, everything became confusing. This was when the book began to lose me. Honestly, I was very confused as to what was happening. I lost count on how many times I had to "rewind" so I could hear certain parts over. Towards the last two thirds of the book, I simply gave up in trying to "re-read" these confusing sections. Oh, and the romance...*sigh* There was no romance. Well, not in my books there wasn't. If anything, the love triangle romance thingy it had was what contributed to my confusion to the story (don't get me started talking about the ending).
Now, usually books are salvaged by the narrators. Elizabeth Knowelden was the reader for this audio production. She had a beautiful voice but she was dull. There was no excitement between scenes and the whole time she made Nyx appeared as if she were on the verge of tears. I don't know...Ms. Knowelden just did not work for me.
Overall, this book could have been better. I did enjoy the beginning of it. Too bad it lost me once Nyx got to the castle. Perhaps it would have been better if I tried to read the physical copy instead of listening to the audio. Oh well...I rate it:
This book counts towards the Audiobook Challenge.