For 900 years, Arcadia has been sealed off from the rest of the world. This piece of land has also been under the rule of a demon lord, whose bargains with people bring misfortune instead of happiness.
Seventeen-year-old Nyx has known for years that she will marry the demon lord, Ignifex. The marriage was arranged by her father in order to avenge the death of her mother, remove the demon lord from power, and reunite Arcadia with the rest of the world. After she is married, Nyx quickly begins her mission to destroy Ignifex, her new husband. But as she gains feelings for him, and discovers facts that change the course of her mission, Nyx finds it harder to complete the task she was sent to do.
Rosamund Hodge chose an interesting setting for Cruel Beauty. The story reminds us of Beauty and the Beast, but it takes place in a pseudo-ancient Roman/Greek setting. I loved that the story was fast-paced. It didn’t have a lot of long inner monologues that can be frustrating in other novels. The ending did seem a little too good to be true. Nevertheless, Cruel Beauty is a great read for those who like different takes on fairytales.