Cruel Beauty reminded me a lot of the Dark Angel Trilogy. A young woman is forced to live with a demon/vampire creature who will ultimately bring about her death. Somehow the young woman falls for the creature and he falls for her. Now how will she save the lives of others as well as herself for if the creature lives, it spells doom for everyone. Of course a horrific gothic castle is a necessary part of the scenery and the plot.
Nyx Triskelon is the young woman. Ignifex is the demon who has enslaved her people and she has been raised to save her world — at the cost of her own life. They are married by proxy and she has been dropped off by her father at the castle entrance. When she meets her husband, he is not what she expects and her grants her more freedom that she expects. He does inform her that she is only to go into rooms that are open to her but she is constantly stealing keys and checking out forbidden and dangerous parts of the castle. Every night Ignifex is cowering in his room but his servant Shade shows Nyx quite a few of the castle’s secrets. Nyx begins to fall for both Ignifex and Shade. She also begins to question her purpose. What happens when she discovers that all she understood about her world is entirely false? Will she love her family enough to do the right thing?
What did this book have to do with my faith? Nyx begins the book feeling like a superior martyr. She has made up her mind and becomes so focused on her own agenda. When she gets to know the real people involved, her perceptions change. How often we Christians make quick judgments about people and situations. Sometimes I think Western Christians feel like they have some kind of superior knowledge because of whom they follow so that whatever they do is blessed. Just this past week I went to hear a Jordanian Christian woman tell of her experiences and her ministry to those in her country, including thousands of Syrian refugees. How quickly we Western Christians assume everyone in those countries are nonbelievers. And how quickly we give up on them. What if we had an opportunity to really get to know others that we have already condemned? Would our judgments change?
I recommend this book.