What’s it about?
Cruel Beauty is a retelling of beauty and the beast, though the beauty isn’t very ladylike or proper. But that’s ok because I don’t think many people will identify or enjoy a main character who is ladylike or proper. The setting is a magical island that has been cut off from the rest of the world. Literally – there’s a barrier that even blocks out the sun. A girl has been promised to the beast. The book begins with her marrying him in abstentia – she’s there, he’s not – and then heading to his castle. They don’t spend that much time together, but there is a mystery to be solved and an adventure to be had.
Why should you read it?
It’s a fun quest story, that’s why. Fairy tales retold are the fashion these days (wow, there’s a sentence that makes me sound like my grandmother). Cruel Beauty turns Beauty and the Beast into a more overt quest than it is – the beauty leaves/chooses to go to the beast’s castle, he takes her captive, they become friends, then they figure out what made the beast turn ugly, fix the problem/fall in love, watch as he becomes not a beast, and they live happily ever after. This story emphasizes the fix the problem part of the story. It’s fun. Definitely recommended for when you want something light.