Release date: March 14th 2017
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?
With the live action Beauty and The Beast so close, I am in a definite mood for all the re-tellings I can possible read. This one was dark, featured a strong and capable Beauty, and had some great twists. It really pulled me in.
Yeva, nicknamed Beauty, was a girl who wanted more than simply being some noble’s wife. She loved to hunt, was great at it, and didn’t want to be forced into a life where she would be forced to give that up. When her father lost their fortune and the family had to move back into an isolated cabin, she really stepped up during the times her father left her and her sisters to go hunting deep in the woods. Beauty hunted closer to the cabin and made sure there was always meat on the table for her sisters. She also used hunting as an excuse to avoid being stuck in the cabin all day with her sisters and subjected to some discussions she didn’t want to have. She loved her sisters and the bond between them was wonderful to read since all three were so close and cared deeply about each other instead of them being cruel and hating each other.
The book was told mostly in the third person POV following Beauty but sometimes would alternate into a first person POV of The Beast. These short parts were handwritten and sometimes it was a little difficult to make out the words but they added to the mystery and darkness so I did enjoy them. I just had to be careful not to skim through them so I caught every word.
The plot was slower paced but in a way that was still enjoyable to read. I’m always big on character dynamics so seeing Beauty interacting with the Beast day after day, not knowing he was the one who imprisoned her but thinking he was trapped like her, forming a kinship with him, was something I really liked reading but someone wanting more action might find the middle part of the book to drag a bit. It did really pick up around the 3/4 mark, almost a little too much action. It probably could have been spread out a little more evenly, pacing wise, but I still enjoyed it.
It was easy to get swept up in the atmosphere, the setting, the whole story. This was my first Meagan Spooner book but I do own a few others and will be getting to them soon.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.