I bought this book after hearing that it was perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas', A Court of Thorns and Roses series. If you haven't read the first two books of that series yet, what the heck are you waiting for? I have two words: World Building. Actually, I have a Mary Poppins bag full of words, but I'll save those for another time.
Now, without further ado have a look at a snippet of the blurb for Cruel Beauty, taken from Goodreads:
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.
So my thoughts initially - A fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a heroine who has been trained to fight him since birth? Yes please.
If you liked Feyre's character, you'll get on with Nyx. She too is feisty, witty and shoved - quite literally - into a crappy situation because of her father's selfishness. What makes these heroines is the fact that they're the heroes of their own stories, and I LOVE this mentality in YA at the moment.
Aside from the tough females and the whole retelling thing, I did find these books quite different. That being said, I did enjoy Cruel Beauty - the house, the house, the HOUSE, Ignifex's freaky eyes and wicked sense of humour, the twists, references to T S Eliot... I could go on, but I'm trying to stay out of spoiler waters.
I would recommend this for lovers of retellings predominantly, not just ACoTaR lovers.
Next read: An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir