Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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I should re-name this blog to ‘Anna’s retelling reviews’ with how many of these I read. Take a guess on what next week’s is (hint: it has a fish tail). Anyway, on to the book!

Beauty and the Beast takes a demonic twist in this strange but captivating retelling. The writing was fantastic and I loved the idea of the demons-who-are-not-fey even though they’re fey in every sense except being called demons.

I loved the idea of the magical house and different rooms always changing and burnt books and just wow! The magic of the world is incredible. The deal making was perfect. It’s like Rumpelstiltskin, Peter Pan, and Beast all melted together into one person and became Ignifex, kind of like in the Once Upon a Time TV show.

I loved that the romance grew from hate, not love. From acceptance of that darkness, not the need to drown it. They didn’t make each other better people – and it was ok. Having an unlikable MC is hard work (and a big risk) but this book did it well.

I had two issues with the book. The first was that it felt a bit stitched together from too many different cloths. Are we in a fairy tale? Is it religious or magical? What’s up with the Greek Gods and sacrifices? What time period is it? It wasn’t confusing, per say, just didn’t feel well rounded. When I think of Zeus, I think togas not parasols. It was weird.

The other issue is the MC’s random outbursts of random feelings when she got to the castle. I was just like…what? She’s gonna try and stab her husband and then rip her clothes off? She hates demons but goes to kiss one out of nowhere? Like…I don’t even. It evened out after a bit, but for a little while there I was debating my opinion of the book.

Overall, a great read, and a very interesting retelling that I would recommend to anyone who likes the darker ones but still enjoys shows like Once Upon a Time.

 

Cross-posted to My Trending Stories.

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