Author: Meagan Spooner
Young Adult Fantasy
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
This is a classical retelling of Beauty and the beast with a clever spin of Russian folklore, mixing up the tale of Ivan the firebird and the great wolf.
Retellings are a personal favorite of mine, reading new approaches to classical stories, breathing new life into them it certainly is not easy but this one was very nicely done.
Beauty (Yeva) was a strong female lead, loyal and flawed, hungry for a different life that what was expected of her.
The beast we meet in little chapters (and with his interaction with beauty throughout the story) we see his inner monologue, his dual nature I really like this, being able to see him change gradually back and forth.
The world was not Disney’s beauty and the beast at all, it was dark, and it set the mood of the story quite well, everything has two sides to it, beauty can be so deadly.
“Nothing is in itself only one thing. You can’t be all I’ve ever wanted because I’ve never wanted only one thing. Yeva said”
We are always looking for happiness and for that which will make us whole to the point of sometimes missing that what we were looking for was right with us all along.
My only complaint is the pacing, it became a bit slow at times but it grip me enough to push through so, it was ok overall.
This is a story for those who enjoy good old fashioned fairy tales