Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Title: Cruel Beauty
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Paranormal Romance, Retelling, & Mythology
Published: January 28, 2014
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)
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.
Final book of the TBR reading challenge I am a part of! Been meaning to dust this off for a while.
Here we follow Nyx. Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom since she was born. Why? Because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. All her life she has been trained to kill her future husband...save her family...and the kingdom. When she arrives she finds herself drawn to the evil lord named Ignifex. She is also beguiled by his magical castle which is a shifting maze. Nyx will have to decide what is more important...her family and kingdom or the man she was never supposed to love.
I was immediately sucked into the story. The summary doesn't do the book justice. There is a lot of complexity here between the characters and the plot itself. Things get muddy and there is no right answer. A world of grey.
Nyx was cruel but her father made her that way. I felt so bad for her. I can't imagine knowing and being trained to be a weapon that will 95% likely not survive. Even if she kills the dark lord she may not survive when the castle crumbles. I can see why she was so cold-hearted and had a lot of resentment for her family....especially her twin who was spared.
I had zero ideas how everything was going to be resolved at the end. Even in the end, I feel like the gods won't leave well enough alone.
Speaking of which...I LOVED the mix of Greek mythology with Beauty and Beast! It was a wonderful blend and it worked great even with this being YA. Don't let it being YA scare you (not my fave genre either) because this was fun.
Any issues? Maybe the end. I think we needed more. Maybe an epilogue or a promise of a book 2? I feel like we deserve to see the next steps for Nyx. There seems to be a lot more story to tell. Like I said earlier....I doubt the gods will leave things be.
The narrator was pretty good. I felt her voice was a little too old for this 17-year-old. Maybe a younger-sounding voice would've fit a smidge better. Besides that...she did a good job.
In the end, I really enjoyed this. I loved the characters and the plot was so complex but enjoyable. You won't want to stop reading (or listening if you did the audio). The ending needed more but it is still worth the read. I'll give this 4 stars.
- #62 for Audiobook challenge
- #62 for Audiobook challenge
- TBR Reading Challenge (#12)