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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Audio Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Publisher: Harper Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 10 hrs 17 mins
Publication: January 28, 2014
Source: Gift- Audio Book Sync
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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.

My Thoughts: I love the retelling of classic fairy tales. Rosamund Hodge goes one step further by adding mythology to the mix. All of her live Nyx has been preparing to marry and destroy the enemy. She knows it will not be easy an easy task and the fate of her kingdom is determined my her success or failure. 

I was drawn in to the story from the very beginning. I realized very quickly that a simple bargain was at the center of everything. I just couldn't figure out what the bargain was and how it ended with a kingdom held hostage. Nyx's passion surprised me. As they say Love and hate the are two sides of the same coin. Ignifex and shadow were a puzzle to me. In hind sight they shouldn't have been. I tend to overlook what is staring me right in the face. Even though I found the ending confusing I was happy with how things ended. 

This is a singe voiced unabridged audio performed by Elizabeth Knowelden. She does an excellent job with variations in gender and with differentiating each character. Knowelden gives life to Nyx and her emotions. Pace is well maintained throughout the production. 


  1. I liked this book so much more than I thought I would! I love how mythology is twisted into the world. I can't wait for another book from the author!

  2. I recently listened to Cruel Beauty on audio as well. Loved it! I agree that the narrater did an amazing job with the various voices and she invested me into the story. The mythology and Nyx's character were also aspects of Cruel Beauty I enjoyed :) Awesome review!

    Emily @ Reader Rising