The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in this dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Perfect for fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.
Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected--particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy--who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.
- Hardback | 352 pages
- 146 x 217 x 26mm | 420g
- 28 Jan 2014
- HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- Balzer and Bray
- New York, United States
Back cover copy
Betrayed by her family yet bound to obey, Nyx rails against her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, she abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, disarm him, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not 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. But even if she can bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him?
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.
"A dazzling and clever retelling, CRUEL BEAUTY is delightfully dark, lushly romantic, and utterly spellbinding. I adored it, and can't wait to read Hodge's next novel!" -- Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series
"What a stunning debut. This is a book you will want to read as fast as you can for the intricate plot and as slowly as you can to savor the gorgeous world-building and the ravishing love story." -- Sherry Thomas, author of THE BURNING SKY
"An intricate and arresting tale well worth readers' time ... Hodge succeeds in creating a refreshingly human and real protagonist and love interest. They are both strong and flawed, and they--even more strikingly--embrace those qualities in themselves and each other. Engrossing." -- Kirkus Reviews
"The push and pull romance between Nyx and Ignifex is pure fairy tale, but the characters themselves are complex and genuinely human as they struggle with their own culpability in a situation that forces them to choose between selfishness and selflessness." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An entertaining read for teens who enjoy romantic fantasy." -- School Library Journal
"Debut novelist Hodge has created a rich, complete world in this twist on 'Beauty and the Beast.'" -- Publishers Weekly
"Will have readers clutching the book and flying through the pages." -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
"[A] fast-paced romantic fantasy." -- Booklist