How much did I love this book? Well, after finishing Cruel Beauty I posted this to my Goodreads account: UGH SO GOOD. I don't usually give books stars, but this needs five.
Cruel Beauty is the story of Nyx, a girl promised to marry the Gentle Lord, basically the Demon King, and since birth she has known she will marry him, and that it is her job to kill him and break the curse he has put on her people. But when she turns seventeen and enters his castle, she finds that the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, is not what she expected. And he has secrets. Secrets that may be the key to doing what she promised to do-- but doing so may also destroy the one she loves.
I love a lot of things about this novel, including, most importantly, the writing. Hodge brings magical rooms to life, and creates realistic and flawed characters. Nyx isn't perfect, but she's strong, sometimes to the point of being stubborn. There's also some complex mystery involved, although I did see the final twist coming, I really enjoyed getting there. There were also enough secrets that I didn't know to keep me satisfied overall.
All of Hodge's worldbuilding and history just felt natural, it flowed easily and it never felt like an info-dump or unnecessary detail. Overall, Cruel Beauty was a smashing success for me and I am definitely going to pick up whatever Hodge writes next.
Release Date: January 28th 2014 Pages: 342 Format: Egalley
Source: Edelweiss Publisher: Blazer + Bray Buy It: Book Depository