Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Publication Date: 1/28/2014
3.5 stars out of 5 stars

“I was raised to marry a monster.”

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge demonstrates the cruelty in beauty and the beauty in the cruel, but also that there is far more truth than the eye can see when it comes to evil.  Eighteen years ago a young man was in love with a young woman.  They loved each other with a great passion and married.  Like all really love stories, their sweet story was laced with bitterness for the wife could not produce children, and therefore could not produce heirs.  Her husband was not worried about this, but the woman could not accept to live with this incompetency.  Not wanting to lose his love, the young husband went to the Gentle Lord, the lord of bargains, and he bargained like most humans do for something that he thought he deserved.  Like all humans do, this husband bargained with the Lord, only to realize that no matter what the Lord and the Kindly Ones always win in the end.  His bargain was a fool’s bargain at best, and therein lays the beginning of Nyx and Ignifex’s story. 

Nyx was born out of a bargain along with her sister Astraia.  In this bargain one of the daughters must be chosen as the wife of the Gentle Lord, the demon that runs their country and lives.  Nyx, being the one that does not favor her deceased mother, has been chosen and trained since a little child on how to defeat her future husband.  The future of her country and her family are now in her hands.  What Nyx doesn’t expect is to find a kindred spirit within Ignifex, the Gentle Lord.  Nor does she understand where this attraction for the demon she’s hated all her life has spawn from.  Along with figuring out her feelings, Nyx stubbles upon some secrets hidden in plain sight about her world, who the Gentle Lord really is, and where the lost prince of Arcadia has been all this time.  Can Nyx destroy her husband, the one who has accepted her with all her faults, the person who never asked anything from her?  Who will Nyx betray? 

This was a solid book, with great characters.  As someone who tends to walk on the darker path when it comes to good and evil stories, I really liked Ignifex.  He was funny, dark, and somewhat very honest depiction of reality.  The story also gave a glimpse into the human soul and to human desires, along with the morality of our choices spawn from desire.  Cruel Beauty is decadent tale old as time but fresh and with new players. 
Thank You Edelweiss for this ARC in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

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