My second selection (although these are in no particular order) for 2014's Most Anticipated Event is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that sounds simply stunning, and even has a fantastic teaser trailer.
This novel has one of the prettiest covers. It may just be the most stunning of 2014.....
Here is the synopsis of 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.Amazing right? I was lucky to have Rosamund Hodge answer a few questions about Cruel Beauty, and her own choice for 2014 Most Anticipated.
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
1 Describe Cruel Beauty in 3 words
"Lief or loath."
(--which is an archaic way of saying "willing or unwilling." It's a phrase I've been waiting to use since I was fourteen, it turns up in a crucial scene of Cruel Beauty, and it could apply to all the characters, since they're all faced with things they have to do whether they like it or not.)
(And I guess I used more than three words. Oops.)
2 What aspect of Beauty and Beast's story inspired you to write Cruel Beauty?
Its connection to other stories. I'd always liked Beauty and the Beast, but I'd never felt any need to retell it. Completely separately, I'd always loved the myth of Cupid and Psyche (but again, never felt the need to retell it). Then one day I read the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and it was like a bomb going off in my brain as I realized that these three stories are the same story. I'd just never seen it before because East of the Sun, West of the Moon is the halfway point that makes the connection obvious.
One of the things I've always loved about myths and fairy tales is the way they meld and mutate and borrow one another's bones. It was when I stopped seeing Beauty and the Beast as a separate story and started seeing it as part of a larger mythic continuum that I wanted to retell it.
3 As a debut author, what has most surprised you about the process of getting a novel ready for publication?
I think the way scheduling works, which I sort of knew about before, but has still been pretty surreal to experience. Because it takes so long to produce a book, drum up publicity, etc., all the writing has to be done way in advance. My first book comes out in three months, and that's hugely exciting and absorbing. But at the same time, I just finished drafting my second book and now we're moving into edits, a process that seems likely to consume every last one of my brain cells. It's like living in two worlds at once.
4 Are you able to share a secret about one of the characters, the world, something that inspired something about the world/characters?
My heroine, Nyx, has a secret she's been keeping all her life: she hates her family. Not just her father, who bargained her away; she also hates her sister, who loves her and never did anything wrong except be the one their father chose to live. This secret hatred--and the guilt that she feels over it--is one of the driving forces of her character. And it was inspired by C. S. Lewis's novel Till We Have Faces, which is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche from the point of view of Orual, Psyche's sister. I first read it when I was eighteen. It's a brilliant novel in many ways--you should all read it!--but one of the things that most struck me during my first, passionate reading was that Orual was an extremely flawed person with really ugly emotions, but she still got to be the heroine of her own story. I loved that, because I had plenty of really ugly emotions myself, and it was hard to find heroines who resembled me that way. One of my goals for Cruel Beauty was to write a heroine who often was not nice, and who could even be really awful sometimes, but who still got to fall in love, become a hero, and tell her own story.
5 What 2014 release are you most excited for?
That would be Nomad by R. J. Anderson, which releases in the U.K. and Canada this January. It's the latest in her brilliant, inventive series of Faery books, and I can't wait to read it.
Thank you Rosamund for answering these questions. Pretty sure you all will be running to add Cruel Beauty to your Goodreads. It will be in stores January 28, 2014. I love how passionate Rosamund seems about the novel, and the mythology behind her inspiration. It's made me even more excited to devour this one.
If you want to find out more about Rosamund or her book you can visit her website, and the publisher website.
If you want to pre-order, here are some links that have it up
Barnes and Noble
You'll have a chance to win one of these titles soon, as I will be hosting a giveaway that these interviews may help you win!
Be sure to let me know what you think of Cruel Beauty's cover, the synopsis, or anything else in the comments!