Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge This is the stuff from witch fairy tales are made. It caught me by surprise, i will tell you that. A few people recommended this to me, and honestly wasn't sure for a long while will i attempt to read it or not. It was simply that different, and in the end that good.

The world created by Hodge is intricate, thought trough and inviting. It has a strong anchor in the old Greek mythology and it works really well, molded into some parallel universe this novel calls its home.

Nyx is our heroine. Honestly, her name was one of the reasons i didn't want to read the novel for so long, it struck me as so cliche, the girl whose name is Night to marry the Demon Lord against her will. I know, right? Sounds like classic YA cheese, aged finely for seventeen years, then sold under the false pretense of superior taste, when in fact it was mild cheddar all along.

I was wrong(not about the name, it's still cliche). As it turns out, the majority of character names were either Greek or Roman in origin, another good element to add to the back story, and Nyx was nothing like your classic YA cheese, she actually had flavor of her own.

This is where Hodge's story truly shines, as she gives us this young girl, who was raised all her life in preparation to die, and pay for her father's mistake. Her father bargained with the Demon Lord, the Prince of Deceit so his wife can bare him a child. The Demon Lord granted him his wish, for a price. He will get two girls, and one of them will be his wife on her seventeenth birthday. The father agreed, but true to the twisted nature of bargaining with the Demon Lord the wish soured, and the mother died after the birth of the twin girls.

Nyx was told at a very early age she was to be this sacrifice, and watched how her father and her aunt adored her sister, just how they withed love and affection from her. She grew up angry, bitter and resentful at times. Hodge did a brilliant job portraying a young woman disillusioned with the world, there was no fake modesty, no untrue virtue that came from an unbelievably good heart. This was a child-woman forced to face her fate by a sense of twisted duty, that was hammered in her soul by her own father.

This is why i loved this story. Although romance was a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer's day, our heroine wasn't defined by romance alone. Her isolation and her acceptance of her fate gave her a true depth of character. It was what made this story.

The plot was impressive and multidimensional, offering very little predictability witch made this novel a page-turner. For a vanilla YA novel, i truly enjoyed reading it. God knows how rare that is in my case, so it's definitely worth mentioning.