Review #347

I gave this a generous 4.0/5 stars. I wanted more emotion and power to their feelings. Written in first person, past tense, I’m so glad I checked “Cruel Beauty” out from the library because it has the same vibe I’m hoping for in my beauty and the beast retelling.

Here’s my live thoughts while reading:

The opening scene is so crystal clear and full of characterizations. Nyx will be forced to marry a demon tomorrow. Her father chose her as the sacrifice over her twin sister. She has all the feelings about this and it’s goldenly shown.

The demon she’s being given to is the prince of the demons and demands her as payment for his magic. His father made a bargain years ago which created this fate for her. So Nyx is getting ready for her wedding when her twin gives her a dagger. I guess her sister wants her to try and kill the demon first to come home free. 

Oooh… harsh words of goodbye: “The truth is, Mother died because of you, and now I have to die for your sake too. And neither of us will ever forgive you.”

I’m a little confused by their deity system with information about Resurgandi and Hermatic powers and sigils and Arcadia. The Greek mythology wasn’t expected in this story so I’m unsure of the time period it’s set in.  

I love Shade so far, but can he be trusted and what exactly is he? 

Sometimes the vocabulary is a bit unnecessary, such as on page 74: “To spurn a suppliant was freely impious…” what does that mean? 

So she found the Heart of Water easily but still needs to find the other four hearts. I’m unsure why but maybe it’ll break the curse on her people/village? 

I like how the monsters are afraid of the dark. 

There’s so many ominous  doorways leading to the unknown. She was bound to come across one so dangerous eventually. 

I’m wondering what the Children of Typhon have to do with the overall-likely curse. And is Shade actually a good guy? And is Shade and Ignifex the same soul somehow? 

At the halfway mark I’m wanting Nyx and her ‘lord husband’ to have more scenes together. They’ve barely been on page at the same time so if this is a romance then I won’t feel like I know him or them together. 

At the 60% mark I’m a bit bored. 

The “romance” parts feels a bit rushed. But it’s a shorter book so I get there’s only so much page space. 

Wait!!… She learned the truth. But we don’t get an explanation? 

Great quote- “You must betray one of us. I suppose which one you pick depends on whom you love the most.”

In conclusion, this story went in a different way than I had expected overall but it was enjoyable. Spoiler alert: The memory thing at the end felt like an “easy out” but also too quickly fixed. 

I’m glad I picked this one up but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to others. My favorite part was the dark vibe and the shadows.

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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