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For years, Arcadia has been ruled by the Gentle Lord, Ignifex—a powerful demon willing to bargain to grant his subjects wishes, but there are always. Download [PDF] Books Cruel Beauty (PDF, ePub, Mobi) by Rosamund Hodge Online Full Collection. Read Cruel Beauty read free novels online from your Mobile, Pc. Cruel Beauty is a Fantasy novel by Rosamund Hodge.


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Cruel Beauty. Home · Cruel Beauty Author: Rosamund Hodge. downloads Views KB Size Report. DOWNLOAD EPUB. Download and Read Free Online Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe Book 1) Rosamund Hodge. From reader reviews: Florence Croy: This Cruel Beauty. Rosamund Hodge - [Cruel Beauty 01] - Cruel Beauty (ARC) (epub) - dokument [*. epub] UNCORRECTED E-PROOF-NOT FOR SALE HarperCollins Publishers.

I recognized Shade's importance but I didn't like the way he was portrayed or how his relationship with Nyx progressed. But he was keeping himself gentle. I was raised to marry a monster. What was it to her? Frost Like Night.

What pisses me off is that Nyx and her father has a plan to kill Ignifex using Hermetic sciences and she did not follow through except in the most halfhearted way.

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Instead, this is what we get: It was nothing like kissing Shade. That had been like a dream that slowly enfolded me; this was like a battle or a dance. Less romance, more plot, please. Thanks to the wonderful Faye for lending me this book. I received this book as an Advance Review Copy; all quotes are taken from an uncorrected galley and is subject to change in the final edition.

View all 83 comments. Oct 07, karen rated it it was ok Shelves: For one moment, I felt like a river running down to his ocean. View all 30 comments. Feb 27, Whitney Atkinson rated it it was ok Shelves: But holy moly, this book does a It starts out strong but turns into trash.

I'm not sure if it's because I listened to it on audio, but i am SO confused by everything. It tries to incorporate both mythology and elemental magic, and it just did not work for me. I was so confused on who all the different magical entities were that controlled the world and none of it made sense to me whatsoever. I'm still roiling a bit on what just happened there at the end because it also starts to pull in time travle???? I will not be continuing this series and I would not recommend this one.

View all 21 comments. Feb 14, Mohammed Arabey rated it really liked it Recommended to Mohammed by: Julia Carlton. Not just a different retelling of a 'story as old of time', But it also mixed with as many of ancient Greek Myths. And by the end you'll feel that it's came so, Original.

Well, this 'angry' bride, full of hatred.. And as most YAs But it was only adorned with Greek mythology every now and then that made me feel better.. But still , I felt bored in the middle many times But the concept of the myth of "Kindly One", and the wishes, the barging of the Gentle lord is amazing.. That was an interesting plot here, people can't understand actually what they wish for That their wishes has a price..

AND then comes the strong last few chapters and the end.. Where the moral of this Cruel Story, the contradictions of human nature, how the cruelty is compassion and how we never understand what we wish for..

How there's no pure good God, I just loved the ending It's a retelling that worth the reading really. Mohanmed Arabey From 14 Feb. View all 26 comments.

She tried. She really, really tried to salvage this book by giving the main character tons of personality, but not even she could change the source material. The fact is that Cruel Beauty made absolutely no damn sense. How does the magic work? I dunno. Who are the real bad guys? There's time travel? Maybe, but not really. The oil rose to the top and the cake fell flat. Also, I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, kinda like this book. But the narrator's voice was nice. View all 29 comments.

Nyx Triskelion, will you be my wife? Finally I met his eyes. Cruel Beauty - an enchanting blend of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale and a touch of Greek mythology - was one of the wildest, cruelest, most beautiful books I've ever read.

Its constantly dark atmosphere haunts you throughout, and the painfully slow burn of romance only adds to its thrill. Nyx Triskelion has been betrothed since birth to the evil ruler of her kingdom, the Gentle Lord, all because of a foolish bargain her father made before she was even born.

And since birth, she has been trained as a warrior with one purpose: With no choice but to fulfil her duty, Nyx's heart is filled with resentment for her family and hatred for herself, but on her seventeenth birthday, she still abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan is to seduce him, destroy his castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse on her people.

But Ignifex isn't what Nyx expected - strangely, she finds herself drawn to his charms and enthralled by the shifting maze that is his castle. Because Cruel Beauty is a tale of romance, and this review wouldn't sufficiently cover everything I loved about it if it didn't touch on Nyx and Ignifex, I'm going to begin here: Their banter was hilarious and spiked with barbs, and their constant dance around each other was amusing to watch.

I stunned him for only a moment; then he locked his arms around me and kissed me back as fiercely as the sunlight beating down on my back, and for a few minutes we said nothing at all.

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What I was really looking forward to was the enemies-to-lovers playout, and it didn't disappoint at all. Nyx and Ignifex's romance was built up really slowly, and for a time, I even wondered if it was going to happen at all.

Yet now that I think back, the beauty of it is in the delay - where they both fell for each other without realising. And then they fully captured my heart. They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense. But now I knew that every mad word was true. For Ignifex was still himself, still mocking and wild and inhuman, terrible as a legion arrayed for war; but in my arms he became gentle, and his kisses were sweeter than wine.

When Ignifex finally opened his heart enough to trust Nyx and let his guard down around her, I swear I was smiling so wide. There's wonderful world-building as well! Every little detail of the fantasy world was fleshed out so well. Rosamund Hodge really has the ability to sweep you away into her world, and from time to time it felt like I was right there, under the parchment sky and in the dark ruin of the castle, with shadows creeping all around me and doors that opened onto more doors.

Nyx was a breath of fresh air. She was a heroine with a black heart, and I really enjoyed being inside her head.

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If I had to describe her, I'd say she was a villain at heart, yet conditioned to fight on the "right" side. But she was a glorious antihero, and I was so soft when Ignifex saw all the poison in her heart and loved her anyway.

And her strong personality isn't eroded by love - oh no it isn't. You'll have to read it to see what I mean! The touch of Greek mythology in the plot was something that captivated me throughout the book. I've always been fascinated by the Greek myths and combine that with a Beauty and the Beast retelling? Count me in. I'll admit the first part of the story was a little ambiguous, but when all the loose threads were tied up and the book sped towards its ending, I couldn't put it down.

Cruel Beauty is a dark, romantic, twisted tale that is bound to dazzle you and steal your heart. I'm not sure it fully merits 5 stars, but I'm still giving it the highest possible rating anyway - I can't find the words to explain why I love this book.

I just do. While I was writing this review, a song came on shuffle and I realised it reminds me so much of Nyx and Ignifex. So I'm going to leave it here, at the end. Fading - Vallis Alps i've been wanting to pick this up for a long time. View all 28 comments. Jul 12, Blythe rated it it was amazing Shelves: Let me say it now: Cruel Beauty is one fantastic, gorgeously written, spectacularly dark debut.

Many of its aspects may not appeal to some readers, and I understand that; although I really loved how the romance in Cruel Beauty and the "love triangle" note the quotation marks--don't run off played out, I do understand why some other readers, a handful of my friends amongst them, take issue with much of this novel. But honestly, it's been over a week since I've finished Cruel Beauty , and I have truly nothing negative to say about it, other than the fact that the world-building and terminology may be a bit overwhelming at first.

However, when I got accustomed to the world in Cruel Beauty , and got a grasp on where Hodge was going with the story around fifty pages in, I was absolute putty in this book's hand.

Cruel Beauty is a very ambitious novel, and it's one that will likely throw some readers off in how odd it is; it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, with some Greek mythology thrown in, a whole lot of fantasy, a maybe even a hint of dystopian aspects, and trust me when I say it's all handled really, really well. What could have easily been a convoluted and silly novel instead incorporated each and every one of those aforementioned plot points seamlessly.

Nyx is a strong willed character, and is at times a bit frustrating, but she is also one of the most realistic characters I've read about this year. After all the things she goes through in the novel, she's understandably angry and fickle regarding whom she truly loves, and why. In reality, I think anyone would react similar to how Nyx reacted if they were placed in the same situation as her. As well as being an authentic character, she does eventually grow past the anger that was so evidently boiling up inside her in the beginning of the novel, but she never truly gets past it, much like anyone wouldn't.

And that's why I love her character arc and development: In any other novel, with any other character, Nyx's actions may just have annoyed me. I'm aware of this; but in Cruel Beauty , Rosamund Hodge creates a character in Nyx that is, while not always likable, wholly relatable, and that is a great feat in my eyes. And then there's Ignifex, who is one charming little bastard, and I'll leave it at that.

There are much more things for me to touch upon in regards to the romance in this novel, all of which are spoilers. So I'm just going to let the readers of this unravel the mysteries of this romance on their own. And trust me, it's something you'll want to discover on your own. The romance is something you'll either love or hate see below , but it is definitely intriguing and original.

But yes, Ignifex--awesome, complex character, with a unique and surprising backstory Yes, yes, yes. Lovers of Cole from the Everneath series by Brodi Ashton, this guy's for you. I think Cruel Beauty is a novel that will have some pretty contrasting opinions once it's published. Although some think its romance is insta-love which I disagree with since it was said that five months passed before any 'love' thoughts occurred, but I digress with an unnecessary love triangle which I also respectfully disagree with because of reasons , but you all know how I feel about love triangles , I found Cruel Beauty to be a truly beautiful and stunningly original debut.

With it, Rosamund Hodge has taken some aspects from Beauty and the Beast that manage to make the novel stand out as an adaptation, but she also introduces so many new concepts of her own to make the ageless tale as old as time we all love even lovelier.

View all 17 comments. I'm not sure of what to think of this book I really loved it Let me try to arrange my thoughts I was very excited about this book, so I was a little dissappointed because I wasn't really digging it and I was already at page I think that I wasn't liking it at the begining because Nyx is always changing her I'm not sure of what to think of this book I think that I wasn't liking it at the begining because Nyx is always changing her mind and I wanted to slap her sometimes, but also because the world in this book is really confusing!

At first I didn't understand a thing about the "Hermetic" laws and the elemental hearts, then it became clearer, but we also had demons, gods, "kindly ones", shadows, mithology, fantasy, and so much more that I don't think I fully understood the world at the end of the book, but that doesn't mean I didn't like it, on the contrary, I found it very interesting!

I decided to give this book 4 stars because of the slow begining and because of what I said in the paragraph above, but those were the only things I didn't really like Also, I thought his back story was amazing! A true mistery and at the end when we learn what really happened it blew my mind! Really, I devoured the second half of this book! And I nearly cried because of the destiny of Nyx and Ignifex: It was so unfair!

About the ending I'm kinda torn. I didn't expected it and I like that, also, I think it was sweet and overall, a good ending, but I don't know, I feel like I didn't fully understood what happened again, because the world and the demons and the gods were so confusing I'm satisfied with it, that's for sure, and I got a little book hangover! That was also unexpected! When I finished the book I couldn't stop thinking about Nyx and Ignifex and the magical world of Arcadia.

View all 6 comments. It seems to me that if you break a thing, you can't complain that it's in pieces. I don't remember the last time I've felt so torn over a book. I don't know how else to put this: Rosamund Hodge's books are so, so messy. They have enough issues that I usually can't imagine giving them five stars.

But there's something about her mythology, her gorgeous prose, her compelling characters, and even her romances that works.

Her books are the very definition of perfectly imperfect. Sure, some may hate s It seems to me that if you break a thing, you can't complain that it's in pieces.

Sure, some may hate some of her books, but she's worth a try anyway, if only because what she writes is unforgettable.

I think it's very fair to say that I love all the concepts presented here. This isn't much of a Beauty and the Beast story; this is a blatant Hades and Persephone retelling. I love that dynamic. I love the idea of this relationship, where two bad people meet in the middle.

In fact, I really enjoyed their banter and relationship development. You know what you are, and what you deserve. You lied to me but not to yourself. That's why I love you. I just don't know how much I like the execution. While there's definitely no rape in this story, there are points where non-consensual kissing occurs between the main couple.

I don't feel the narrative glorifies these actions— actually, they're decried by the narrative and by Nyx herself— but it really squicked me out.

Cruel Beauty

I have been waiting, all my life, for someone undeceived to love me. Now let's talk protagonist, because again, I have no fucking clue how I felt about Nyx. She's complicated, she's flawed, she's badass, she's a little dark— I should love her, right? I don't know if I do, and I don't know if I don't, either. Again, I thought her character arc was messy. It's a good character arc, but she keeps going back and forth, as a character, between developing and not developing.

This back-and-forth is a common issue in debut novels, so I'm not particularly surprised; it just annoyed me. I have to say that the love triangle was my least favorite thing about the book.

Yes, it's not a typical love triangle; no, I still didn't care for it. What was the point? Nyx's relationship with Shade was a crushing disappointment of instalove. Why couldn't Shade just be a platonic friend? Rosamund Hodge really does like her hopeful, yet imperfect endings. I love them too; I've found all of her books' final scenes absolutely perfect. However, she often gets her readers to those final scenes through some really rushed twists.

Pacing her complex plots has never been her strongsuit, and unfortunately, it shows in her often-confusing endings. Despite all the typical debut novel issues, this was a really compelling story and I'm so glad I picked it up. View all 45 comments. Jun 03, Sana rated it really liked it Shelves: I did have some small issues which is why I didn't give it full five stars. Rtc after my exams, Buddy read with Inej dominating Kaz who i ditched lmao.

View all 34 comments. Pros - engrossing writing style - Audiobook narrator with the voice of a goddess - A fun combination of Greek mythology and Beauty and the Beast retelling - Main character who's allowed flaws and to be complex Cons: They 2 Stars Mini-review since it's been like a month since I read this whoops.

They talk about love and connections on the first "date" - The ending makes no sense - Pointless love triangle was pointless - There's literally like a magical god bird who explains everything, but then MC conveniently forgets so that the story can drag on for a few more chapters In Conclusion: The definition of wasted potential.

The first like three chapters are excellent and then it steadily declines May 01, Lola rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Fans of Beauty and the Beast. At all. Much more. Cruel Beauty made me reconsider many things I thought I knew about myself regarding books. Is this a book with slow-pac 4 ''Wow, that was some story! Is this a book with slow-paced writing? The story: I was incredibly curious about this one when I discovered it on Goodreads not so long ago thank you GR! I saw a lot of Beauty and the Beast in the story myself and especially as background like the vast library of the castle, its labyrinth halls, the invisible servants, etc.

It is narrated with a first person POV. I never had a problem with first or third person POV and this one is no exception. The story starts on Nyx, living her last moments at her house with her father, twin sister and aunt. I was craving to know why and where did all the hate come from. From the first sentence, I was hooked and was sure Cruel Beauty was going to be something unlikely everything I have ever read.

Nyx had many various and contradicted feelings towards her sister especially because of her objective towards the Gentle Lord quite an interesting name for the demon Lord. She was scared and angry. She is the chosen one, the one who has to kill the Lord and free their country from demons. Nyx is brave and strong and a survivor. Sometimes she really needed to think before she spoke though, because I was a bit annoyed of her always regretting her impulsive words afterwards.

The world-building: Original and unique. With it, the story felt even more important, riveting and captivating. Everything was well detailed and described. I was imagining it to be quite dark with an eerie atmosphere and not one that made me think of a strange, uncommon house.

Some walls are in blue color for example and some have fruits and flower prints. I mean, come on…So yeah, I did cringe my teeth for a bit while reading those descriptions. It marked me and deceived me at first, because I really had an image of the castle in my head thanks to the cover. When I passed that surprised and just played along more like made an abstraction of it , I started being more fascinated by all the discoveries Nyx made in the castle.

All the secret rooms waiting to be open got my attention and I just wished I was Nyx so I could fulfill my avid curiosity. Cruel Beauty definitely has a special and an interesting world-building worth reading about and paying attention to.

The writing: As I said, the story is slow-paced but not the boring and oh-my-gosh-seriously-is-it-going-to-end-someday kind. Also, the writing was very pretty, beautiful, and admiring.

It was obvious that the author, Rosamund Hodge , wrote her story carefully, trying to make it as perfect and as rich as she was able to. And she succeeded. It was amazing! Although, I did notice.

The romance: I was willing to give this book five big shinny well deserved stars, before the love triangle became really present and annoying. Mainly because it made the strong and smart heroine Nyx look weak and pathetic by moments. Also, the romance was very very rushed.

They were loving each other already a couple of days after they met. So, if you would like to read a fabulous fantasy story like you have never read before with unforgettable characters, a predictable but nice romance with a love triangle and a well thought plot that will leave you only wanting for more, I would recommend you Cruel Beauty with no hesitation. Happy reading! View all 38 comments. Nov 16, Kiki rated it did not like it Shelves: Honest to god, I don't know why I'm kidding myself about this book.

I'm probably not fooling any of you. I'm never going to finish it, because what I read was terrible and what I read was over half of it, and it was so bad that even though I'd gotten entrenched that far into it I still couldn't force myself to turn another solitary page.

What this book wants you to know: Nothing This book will not impact your life in any way. And I mean any way: It's like the eleven Honest to god, I don't know why I'm kidding myself about this book.

It's like the eleventh song on a techno album. Bland as shit. If you like your porridge sugarless, then by all means, knock yourself out. But this book and its parchment sky and breasts on a platter can honestly just stay the hell away from me. It's at its worst when it tries to be witty; when it tries to convince you that the male lead is quirky and sexy and not just a series of really painful cringes just waiting to happen. This one time, I was on the train, and it was packed - like, shoulder-to-shoulder.

My stomach was feeling weird and I let one go, and it might have been silent, but it was fucking deadly. It was like God's eleventh plague had descended on that train car. It was like the gates of hell had opened and let out the stench of the rotting damned as Charon ferried them to and fro across the Acheron. I honestly was surprised that no one called the cops with accusations of bioterrorism. And the girl standing beside me, who was looking down at her phone, just stiffened, and the people talking in front of me went quiet.

I stared at my shoes, and I swear to high heaven, I have never prayed before. I have never fucking prayed before, but in that moment I was begging for a miracle. Disperse , I begged. Please, everyone get off at the next stop. Please, let the air dissipate, or at least let everyone blame it on the dude standing next to me who is very pointedly staring out the window and trying not to touch me with his elbow.

That's not as embarrassing as this book. Seriously, I'd rather have everyone on the train think I just shit my pants than drag my eyes across another speck of Ignifex's agonizing "wit". The dude is about as entertaining as that graaaaaaaah sound your stomach makes before you ruin a bunch of tourists' day.

Detox, ILY. View all 24 comments. May 21, Katie rated it really liked it Shelves: I realize that this book doesn't come out for quite a while, but as soon as it downloaded on my Kindle, I started reading it right away, and once I'd finished it, there was no holding back the feels. This book is amazering. It's half: And another half: This book has some of the coolest worldbuilding I've seen in a YA novel.

O I realize that this book doesn't come out for quite a while, but as soon as it downloaded on my Kindle, I started reading it right away, and once I'd finished it, there was no holding back the feels.

Originally, I thought the book was going to be high fantasy, but now I'm not so sure. It almost feels like "low," or "second world" fantasy, as the setting is a world that was settled by the Greeks and then cut off from the rest of the world.

For that reason, the people believe in Greek gods, and the demons that the blurb refers to are supposed to have originated in Tartarus. The mythology spin on the story was a total surprise, as the blurb doesn't mention it, and I found myself even more excited in the first couple chapters because of it. I also saw an interview with Rosamund Hodge on Epic Reads, where she said that her story is based just as much on the Cupid and Psyche myth as it is on Beauty and the Beast if not more , so I'm not sure why the myth bit isn't in the blurb.

It should be, IMHO. Okay, so let's talk about characters. Holy shiz. These characters are so crazy and dark and totally different than most other YA protagonists. Nyx is what I wanted Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy to be - BA and mean, with an iron will, but so broken that you couldn't help but love her.

I loved how her family relationships pushed her into her feelings for Ignifex. Her character motivation and development flowed really well, I thought. Ignifex is also pretty amazing. Toggle navigation. The Shrunken Head Darkbeast Darkbeast. See also DNA methylation changes between relapse and remission of minimal change DNA methylation changes between relapse and remission of minimal change nephrotic syndrome Species specific membrane anchoring of nyctalopin, a small leucine-rich Species specific membrane anchoring of nyctalopin, a small leucine-rich repeat protein A Naturally Occurring Canine Model of Autosomal Recessive Congenital For years, Arcadia has been ruled by the Gentle Lord, Ignifex—a powerful demon willing to bargain to grant his subjects wishes, but there are always unexpected costs.

Nyx is the result of one of those bargains. But when Nyx goes to live with Ignifex she discovers there is more to him than she could have possible imagined.

As she searches for a way to destroy him, Nyx discovers she is falling in love with him. Eventually, she figures out how to save both Ignifex and Arcadia. Alternatively, you can download the file locally and open with any standalone PDF reader: Cruel Beauty is a unique retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Don't look at the shadows too long or a demon might look back. It was even more horrible for us because we regularly saw the victims of demon attacks, screaming or mute with madness.

Their families had dragged them in through the hallways and begged Father to use his Hermetic arts to cure them. Sometimes he could ease their pain, just a little. But there was no cure for the madness inflicted by demons. And my future husband-the Gentle Lord-was the prince of demons.

He was not like the vicious, mindless shadows that he ruled. As befit a prince, he far surpassed his subjects in power: But he was a demon still.

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After our wedding night, how much of me would be left? I heard a wet cough and whirled around.

Behind me stood Aunt Telomache, thin lips pressed together, one wisp of hair escaping from her bun. Last night, and a thousand times before. Her voice sharpened. Your father has arranged this farewell dinner for you. Don't be late. It was Father's fault that I was leaving. Father wore his red silk waistcoat; Astraia her ruffled blue dress with the five petticoats; Aunt Telomache her pearls; and I put on my best black mourning dress, the one with satin bows. The food was just as grand: One of the servants even strummed at a lute in the corner as if we were at a duke's banquet.

I almost could have pretended that Father was trying to show how much he loved me, or at least how much he honored my sacrifice. But I knew, as soon as I saw Astraia sitting red-eyed at the table, that the dinner was all for her sake. So I sat straight-backed in my chair, barely able to choke down my food but with a smile fixed on my face.

Sometimes the conversation lagged, and I heard the heavy ticktock of the grandfather clock in the sitting room, counting off each second that brought me closer to my husband. My stomach roiled, but I smiled wider and gritted out cheerful nothings about how my marriage was an adventure, how I was so excited to fight the Gentle Lord, and by the spirit of our dead mother, I swore she would be avenged.

That last made Astraia droop again, but I leaned forward and asked her about the village boy always lingering beneath her window-Adamastos or some such-and she smiled and laughed soon enough. Why shouldn't she laugh? She could marry a mortal man and live to old age in freedom. I knew my resentment was unfair-surely she laughed for my sake, as I smiled for hers-but it still bubbled at the back of my mind all through dinner, until every smile, every glance she darted at me scraped across my skin.

My left hand clenched under the table, nails biting into my palm, but I still managed to smile back at her and pretend. At last the servants cleared away the empty custard dishes. Father adjusted his spectacles and looked at me.

I knew that he was about to sigh and repeat his favorite saying: I surged to my feet. And Astraia was at my other elbow. As soon as the door had closed behind us, she turned to me. I managed not to flinch, but I couldn't meet her eyes.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Astraia didn't deserve anyone's anger, least of all mine. She didn't. But for the past few years, whenever I looked at her, all I could see was the reason that I would have to face the Gentle Lord. One of us had to die. That was the bargain Father had struck, and it was not her fault that he had picked her to be the one who lived, but every time she smiled, I still thought: She smiles because she is safe. She is safe because I am going to die.

I used to believe that if I just tried hard enough, I could learn to love her without resentment, but finally I had accepted that it was impossible. So now I stared at one of the framed cross-stitches on the wall-a country cottage choked in roses-and prepared myself to lie and smile and lie until she had finished whatever tender moment she wanted and I could crawl into the safety of my room. But when she said, "Nyx," her voice was ragged and weak.

Without meaning to, I looked at her-and now she had no smile, no pretty tears, only a fist pressed to her mouth as she tried to keep control. Suddenly I remembered one morning when we were ten and she dragged me out of the library because our old cat Penelope wouldn't eat and wouldn't drink and Father can fix her, can't he?

Can't he? But she had already known the answer. Don't you believe your own sister can defeat him? But I'd been telling her the lie that I could kill him and come home for far too long to stop now.

You could ask to take my place. I pushed the thought away. All Astraia's life, Father and Aunt Telomache had coddled and protected her.

They had taught her over and over that her only purpose was to be loved. It wasn't her fault that she'd never learnt to be brave, much less that they'd picked her to live instead of me.

And anyway, how could I wish to live at the price of my own sister's life? Astraia might not be brave, but she wanted me to live.

And here I was, wishing her dead in my place.