Download Cruel Beauty Audiobook

Cruel Beauty Audiobook, by Rosamund Hodge Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rosamund Hodge Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden Publisher: Balzer + Bray Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9780062320032
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If you’re excited about the upcoming Disney film Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, don’t miss Cruel Beauty.

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in this dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Perfect for fans of bestselling An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A dazzling and clever retelling, Cruel Beauty is delightfully dark, lushly romantic, and utterly spellbinding. I adored it, and can’t wait to read Hodge’s next novel!”

    Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series

  • “A completely engrossing tale.”

    Alex Flinn, New York Times bestselling author of Beastly and Towering

  • “A marvelous and inventive book. Hodge creatively intersperses several well-known fairy tales into something that stands completely on its own. Nyx is a heroine comparable to The Hunger Games’ Katniss: she’s fierce, loyal, and a stalwart warrior. As far as debut novels go, this one is a winner!”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars)

  • “Absorbing, beautifully complex…Engrossing.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Will have readers clutching the book and flying through the pages. Filled with mystery and romance, readers can connect to the story and feel the conflict, as well as the love. With roots in the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, and mythological elements from the stories of Cupid and Psyche, this book is a well crafted, modern rendition that will resonate with a wide audience. Love is cruel, but also beautiful, and Hodge has created a story around that theme that readers will devour.”


  • “This adaption of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ combines Greek mythology, particularly the myth of Cupid and Psyche, with fairy tale lore to weave together a complex fantasy that is rich in detail, action, and hidden meanings. Nyx comes to embrace the darkness and the light that is within her and those she loves. Though some layers of the story unravel rather confusingly, this is a clever debut novel that delivers plenty of intrigue and romance.”

    Children’s Literature

  • “Hodge’s story infuses elements of Greek mythology and classic fairy tales. The plot moves quickly, and the characters are well formed; their transgressions make them interesting and authentic. The complex relationship between Nyx and Ignifex is especially engaging. An entertaining read for teens who enjoy romantic fantasy.”

    School Library Journal

  • “A compelling and convincing narrator, the feisty Nyx mellows and evolves as she relates the story. Based on ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ and borrowing ancient Greek gods and myths as well as folklore motifs, Nyx’s Arcadia is a fascinating if sometimes confusing, complex fantasy world. Sexuality is never explicit, but confrontations and sexual tension between Nyx and Ignifex propel the fast-paced romantic fantasy.”


  • “Elizabeth Knowelden narrates with an accent befitting Nyx’s education and privilege, and she uses sharp enunciation to convey Nyx’s resentment as she moves into the Gentle Lord’s castle and finds him to be different from what she expected. Knowelden’s subtle inflections add to the mystery and mood as Nyx explores her new home and builds her plans even as she grapples with her growing feelings toward the Gentle Lord and her ambivalence toward her mission. A fantasy that’s as much about self-acceptance as it is about the redemptive power of love.”


  • “What a stunning debut. This is a book you will want to read as fast as you can for the intricate plot and as slowly as you can to savor the gorgeous world-building and the ravishing love story.”

    Sherry Thomas, author of The Burning Sky

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About the Author

Rosamund Hodge grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, where she spent her time reading everything she could get her hands on, especially fantasy and mythology. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dallas and a master’s degree in medieval English from Oxford. She now lives in Seattle, Washington. 

About the Narrator

Elizabeth Knowelden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator who has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. As an actress, she trained in London at the Webber Douglas Academy where she received a Sir Laurence Olivier Commendation. Her acting credits include theater, musicals, and national tours in the United Kingdom. Also a film actress, she has participated in BAFTA’s Newcomers Program.