Beauty by Robin McKinley

Image result for beauty by robin mckinleyBeauty is a nickname for a girl who is as awkward as her sisters are gorgeous.  But her courage may make up for that as she goes forth to keep a terrible promise.  A promise made by her father to a horrifying beast.  But as she fulfills her promise she finds that maybe a beast can be tamed.

Beauty is yet another retelling of the infamous tale of Beauty and the Beast.  This was another interesting take on the story.  It was not horrible but I have read better versions of the story.  One of the main reasons I picked it up was because of its cover and the length of the book which was short.  However, the promise of greatness was not completely fulfilled.  The background and world building were gorgeous and the characters were great but there were a few instances where I hated the book.

The world-building was vibrant, to say the least.  The new take on the castle, the woods, and Beauty’s background was phenomenal.  I adored how the sisters were not mean and the ingenuity of the magic of the castle where every nuance of the castle is run by magic.  The invisible servants added extra luster to the tale and I quite enjoyed the background of the story.

The characters were also stunning.   The main character was not a beauty, she adored books and horses and was easy to connect to.  Even in his own way the Beast won me over as a reader through his sweet nature.  Furthermore, I loved Beauty’s family who supported her and she them through thick and thin.

Image result for im sorry I just cant gifHowever, these could only make up so much for the details I hated.  First of all, the ending.  It was short and rushed. One moment Beauty admits she loves the Beast and then everything just explodes.  Her family is suddenly there and her father’s in love along with her sister and all these people just appear.  Another thing was how old the Beast was.  He admitted that he aged one year for every ten meaning that he had aged twenty years so if he was twenty when he was cursed he is like forty and Beauty is like maybe twenty.  That is a huge age gap which I’m not totally against but I kind of am.  Not to mention the romance wasn’t developed very well and in comparison to other retellings, it was weak.

Due to all of this, I can’t say I loved the book but I am still glad I read it.  I’m just not sure how many more retellings of this timeless tale I am going to read for it is honestly getting kind of old.

Book Review: Beast A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

Image result for beast a tale of love and revengeChateau Beaumont is said to be cursed but Lucie ignores the warnings not believing that the handsome master of the keep, Jean-Loup is anything but kind and brave.  She is soon relieved of that notion and in revenge, she seeks the help of a wise woman who changes the master into a Beast as ugly as his soul.  However, Beast is not all that he appears to be for no evil man could tend the roses as sweetly as he does, attempt poetry, or express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie.  Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was.  Lucie hopes that the Beast has replaced the chevalier permanently until a young woman shows up with the power to break the curse.  I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  This book was published on July 10th, 2018.

This book was an interesting retelling of the age-old fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.  The characters were compelling and in a world filled with magic where everything is not so black and white.  Beauty and ugliness are blurred along with beastliness and humanity.  I liked the book but at times I was bored by it.  However, the unique retelling and plot plus stunning characters still recommend the book.

I was drawn into this tale by the main character, Lucie who suffers greatly at the hands of the Chevalier of the grand estate of Beaumont.  Her growth from hatred to understanding to love was intriguing to read about and the author excellently portrayed her growth as a character.  However, I could not stand the fact that she spent a major Image result for boring gifportion of the book as a candlestick.  It was boring to read about how as a candlestick Lucie would sit in a single place for weeks just ruminating.  There were a couple chapters where I wanted to set the book down. But I powered through and it was worth it to reach the middle to ending chapters.

In these, we realize that Rose also known as Beauty may be more than just a frightened maiden entranced by the Beast.  And the Beast is more than just a frightening creature.  His humiliation and gentle side show through and the constant rejections from Rose are heartbreaking to witness within his character.  I loved the Beast and through every riotous emotion I followed and understood him.  

The Beast was a phenomenal addition to the story but what I really adored was the world building.  The author created a setting in which magic is possible in an extravagant world told from the point of view of a servant. The roses of the Beast and the Chateau in which he lived were wonderfully described and I could almost smell a hint of roses in the air.  It was stunning for the author truly created a gorgeous world.

In the end, I would recommend the book.  It wasn’t a favorite, though and I would rather read other books before this one.  However, it was worth it to see a unique take on an age-old fairy tale.