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.
A romantic and fantastical reimagining of the classic Cinderella tale, Gilded Ashes is a novella by Rosamund Hodge set in the same world as the author's debut novel, Cruel Beauty.
Orphan Maia doesn't see the point of love when it only brings pain: Her dying mother made a bargain with the evil, all-powerful ruler of their world that anyone who hurt her beloved daughter would be punished; her new stepmother went mad with grief when Maia's father died; and her stepsisters are desperate for their mother's approval, yet she always spurns them. And though her family has turned her into a despised servant, Maia must always pretend to be happy, or else they'll all be struck dead by the curse.
Anax, heir to the Duke of Sardis, doesn't believe in love either—not since he discovered that his childhood sweetheart was only using him for his noble title. What's the point of pretending to fall in love with a girl just so she'll pretend to fall in love with him back? But when his father invites all the suitable girls in the kingdom to a masked ball, Anax must finally give in and select a wife.
As fate would have it, the preparations for the masquerade bring him Maia, who was asked by her eldest stepsister to deliver letters to Anax. Despite a prickly first encounter, he is charmed and intrigued by this mysterious girl who doesn't believe in love. Anax can't help wishing to see her again—and when he does, he can't help falling in love with her. Against her will, Maia starts to fall in love with him too. But how can she be with him when every moment his life is in danger from her mother's deadly bargain?
My first review of Cruel Beauty
Oh, wow, I enjoyed reading these books so much! I mean, Cruel Beauty was one of my top reads of 2014, but I hadn't read Gilded Ashes, so it was so great to go and read these both together! My one thing is, that Gilded Ashes should be 0.5, since Ignifex has a minor role, and in Cruel Beauty, well, yeah, that can't happen after Cruel Beauty!
I remember when I first was waiting for Cruel Beauty to come out, and I found a short excerpt of the first few chapters, and they just pulled me right away. Even having read this book before, they did so again, which just proves that it was well written. I just had to devour it!
Both of these books were really clever and twisty, and plotted to a T. From Ignifex and Shade, the last prince of the kingdom, to whole inside/outside thing, to the deals made. They were just so incredible to read about!
I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes, it was a wonderful take on Cinderella, and it definitely had unique elements, like her mom being a ghost trying to make sure her daughter is happy-but it means that Maia always has to pretend. A lot happens quickly in the end, but it was so great to read!
These books were just incredible to read, and I can't wait to read more by Rosamund Hodge!
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1, 1.5
First Read: January 29th, 2014
Read: April 27th, 27th, 2018
Source: Own, Ebook.bike
Reason Why: Rereading! And they're 2018 Retelling Reading Challenge Books and Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2018 Books! And Gilded Ashes is a WTC Book!
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: January 28th 2014, April 1st 2014