Rating: 4 stars (Original rating: 5 stars)
Buddy read this reread with Nana and sort of accidentally binged it again ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Honestly, my opinion remains almost entirely the same, except that I found this infinitely more redundant this time, hence the lower star rating. Like, it irked me an irrational amount every time “Hermetic” was said and idk if that’s a me problem or what. It’s definitely still a favorite though, and having now witnessed the glory that is Howl’s Moving Castle, I just can’t help but still love it for the magic castle Beauty and the Beast feels.
(original review below)
“Though mountains melt and oceans burn,
The gifts of love shall still return.”
This gave me L I F E
The Writing and Worldbuilding
So, basically take Beauty and the Beast but make it Rumpelstiltskin instead (and not the way Once Upon A Time did) but also make the beast super hot (and honestly an actually good and decent version of Rhysand without the rapey-ness). Give or take some Grecio-Roman and European mythology and the most clever way to successfully pull off a love triangle, and you’ll have this book.
IT’S FREAKING GREAT!
“But it seems to me that if you break a thing, you can’t complain that it’s in pieces.”
The writing immediately drew me in and never let me go. I ADORED all the characters and was on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out the plot ahead of time. The climax was epic, the ending was fulfilling, and now I NEED MORE (WHY IS THIS NOT A SERIES?!)
I really liked the world. It’s sort of an alternative timeline and its (sort of) real world insertion (which is usually a huge pet peeve for me) was actually done in such a way that I didn’t mind! The magic system was super cool and the magic house was pretty interesting.
FYI the audiobook reader is freaking great too and totally nailed the MC’s personality (and didn’t sound weird when doing the male voices)
“Do you think, if you can condemn the whole world, that will make you guiltless?”
Nyx: Do you want a hardcore female heroine who isn’t just a man in a dress? Do you want a complex character who makes mistakes and pays for them? Who has flaws and faults but you root for them anyway? Well, look no further!! Nyx is the MC for you!
Honestly, she’s pretty freaking great! (How many times have I said “freaking” and “great” in this review so far lol?) She didn’t ever want the life she got, but she’s duty-bound and she’s never one to break a promise (even if she’s not the one who made the promise in the first place). She’s headstrong and determined and caring and selfish and a little cruel sometimes but she’s striving to be good, and honestly same. She’s relatable in a way I don’t often find in YA books. She’s real, and I love her for it.
Ignifex: He’s honestly the best. He’s not just your average mean “Beast” who’s really just hot and that forgives him a great deal of unrepentant character flaws (*cough* *cough* Rhysand). He’s just as crushingly real as Nyx. He’s vulnerable and proud and mean and caring too. Gosh I love him.
Shade: Best second dude of a love triangle ever because (hear me out!) it’s not a normal love triangle *I repeat!* IT’S NOT A NORMAL LOVE TRIANGLE!
Shade is kind and a little ominous but helpful (to a fault) and if I say any more I’ll just spoil things so you really just ought to find out for yourself!
The fam: Nyx’s fam is complicated (reasonably so). Her dad basically sold her soul before she was even born, her aunt has ulterior motives evil king in Hamlet style (the marriage part, not the murder part, but who knows?), and her sister is a little creepy tbh (she’s just so schemey!)
I know I’m late to the parade with this one, but I’m so glad I finally read it! It’s definitely a new favorite!
We still could have snatched happiness from our tragedy if we had made the right choices, the right wishes. If we had been kinder, braver, purer. If only we had been anything but what we were.
P.S. this came out on my 15th birthday (and yet I didn’t read it until I was almost 20) so I like to think that this is a present I didn’t know was for me. Thanks, Rosamund Hodge! 🎉🎂🎁🎊
Buy the book here: