I am absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome Rosamund Hodge to the blog today to talk about “The Lure of the Beast” for the CRUEL BEAUTY Blog Tour. As someone who often is drawn to the “beast” in fiction, I couldn’t be more excited that the author shared a bit more about her “beast.”
While I may be one of the few people who haven’t seen the Disney film (or heard the song whose lyrics she quotes in her post), I have seen and read many Beauty and the Beast stories and have seen this theme played out many, many times. And without a doubt CRUEL BEAUTY is my favorite of them all.
Of course I immediately felt the lure of her beast, Ignifex. And it’s not simply because he was handsome and wickedly charming. He was evil, yes. But that’s not all he was. And from the moment we were introduced I adored him. Nyx, on the other hand, wasn’t so easily won over.
Anyway… before I go revealing all of this story’s secrets, I’ll stop. But I just have to add that this book was amazing. The mythologies were fascinating. The writing was gorgeous. For an idea that has been done before this felt very much an original. I couldn’t have loved it more. It was exciting, riveting, nerve-wracking, heartbreaking, beautiful.
So… yes, I’m thrilled to be a part of this tour. And I seriously love, love, love the guest post. Though I have to disagree with the author’s last statement where she says “it makes for a pretty good story.” What she did in CRUEL BEAUTY was abso-freaking-lutely ahhhh-mazing.
As I’ve rambled quite a bit already – no I don’t have a review stop – I’ll try to be quick with this last little bit. The guest post follows immediately below, because it’s such a fantastic post I don’t want it getting lost amidst the rest of the post details. Following that is some information about the book and author and places where you can find both of them online.
The giveaway is US only for an ARC of CRUEL BEAUTY, so if you’d like a chance to read this awesome book, which released yesterday, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter. And if you’d like to check out what a few other bloggers have to say about the book, read the author’s post about Beauty and the Beast, and find out more about her, be sure to visit all the stops on the tour. The schedule, which will be updated with direct links to all stops, is at the bottom of this post.
But now it is my great pleasure (finally) to turn the blog over to Rosamund Hodge.
The Guest Post
The Lure of the Beast
by Rosamund Hodge
We all know the song. We can all pretty much quote the whole thing: “Certain as the sun / Rising in the east / Tale as old as time / Song as old as rhyme / Beauty and the Beast.”
It’s beautiful, it’s moving, it’s perfect . . .
. . . it makes no sense. Certain as the sun rising in the east? Really? Falling in love with a creature who seems to belong a different species is that inevitable?
I guess it makes a bit of sense in the Disney movie, where the Beast is honestly kind of cute when he isn’t snarling. But traditionally, he is UGLY. Like this:
And I think that’s the reason that the story of Beauty and the Beast continues to be so powerful for so many people. Because it doesn’t make sense. Because the Beast is not attractive, not lovable, and that means that if you retell the story, you have to ask what “attractive” and “lovable” really mean.
Everybody who retells the story has a different answer. In the Disney movie, Belle falls in love with the Beast because he gives her a giant library and he turns out to be a big old softie with a heart of gold underneath his ferocious face. It’s a story about looking beyond physical appearances to see the soul, and I think that’s why it’s become a classic to so many people.
That’s not the story I told.
Ignifex, the “beast” of Cruel Beauty, is not ugly. He is a little scary because he has creepy red cat eyes, but he is also smoking HOT. When Nyx first meets him, she’s nearly out of her mind with terror and fury, but she still notices that “he had one of the most beautiful faces I had ever seen.”
And she keeps on noticing. A lot. At no point in the book is lack of physical attraction a problem for them.
The problem is that Ignifex is holding Nyx’s entire country captive, he commands legions of demons that sometimes randomly drive people insane, and he grants people wishes through bargains that always go horribly, ironically wrong. And then he laughs about it.
In short: he’s evil. And Nyx is pretty sure that killing him would solve all her world’s problems.
The thing is, she’s also pretty sure that she’s evil herself After all, she hates her father for raising her to be a hero. She hates her sister for not having to be one. And no matter how much she believes in her mission, she still doesn’t want to die saving the world.
All her life, Nyx has hidden these ugly parts of herself. She starts to fall in love with Ignifex because he sees those parts of her, he understands them, and he doesn’t care.
The question I wanted to write about in Cruel Beauty was not “How can I be loved when I look like a monster?” It was “How can I be loved when I’m a monster inside?” And also, “When I’m such a monster, how can I love anybody else?”
Some of us are born beautiful. None of us are born perfect. So ultimately, it’s a question we all have to answer. And I think it makes for a pretty good story.
About Cruel Beauty
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.
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.
But Ignifex is not at all 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. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Release date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook,
About Rosamund Hodge
Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could lay hands on, but especially fantasy and mythology. She got a BA in English from the University of Dallas and an MSt in Medieval English from Oxford, and she now lives in Seattle with seven toy cats and a plush Cthulhu. Visit her on the web at http://www.rosamundhodge.net/
There is a tour-wide giveaway for an ARC of CRUEL BEAUTY – US only.
Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter and…
The Tour Schedule
Jan. 27th – Paranormal Book Club – Review
Jan. 27th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post
Jan. 28th – Imaginary Reads – Review
Jan. 29th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Review
Jan. 29th – Fiktshun – Guest Post
Jan. 30th – Bewitched Bookworms – Review
Jan. 31st – Some Like It Paranormal – Review
Jan. 31st – Parajunkee – Interview