Here is the summary of the book:
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.
HOLY HELL THIS IS ONE AMAZING STORY!! I try to go into books with the least amount of expectations as possible and when they prove their wort, LIKE THIS ONE did then I get the most satisfactions out of it as possible. The synopsis compares it to a mix of 'Graceling' and 'Beauty & the Beast' but since I haven't read Graceling...... I'd go with 'Greek Mythology' meets 'Beauty & the Beast'.
Nyx and the Gentle Lord. They definitely were a pair. Nyx for her part was the quite and reserved person, trained all her life to destroy her to-be husband, the Gentle Lord, the Lord of Bargains and land of the presence of evil and bring back the clear blue skies. She is stubborn, quite determined. She may have never desired anything from others but a part of her does crave..... crave the love and adoration that her younger sister got. But one thing I liked of her..... she is compassionate.
The Gentle Lord, Ignifex (as he is called) on the other hand is every bit mischievous, dark devilish and of course beguiling as you would expect him to be. But as we see Nyx and him interact and gradually come to know each other. We find that there is a bit of vulnerability to him as well and their gradual love and passion actually felt more real than ever. Its palpable enough to make us swoon and diligently root for them to be together even if the situation feels more bleak than ever.
Most of all I liked the way Hodge blends Greek Mythology throughout the story to make it look even more fantasy-like. And the jaw dropping twists & turns and how our characters deal with deceptions throughout the stretch of it, that gave it a new meaning. Rosamund Hodge's debut surely makes it with the big names out there...... This is a fairytale re-telling I recommend you would love and covet.
"A perfect blend of Greek Mythology and Beauty & the Beast. Fans of Alex Flinn will definitely love this"