Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

I've never been super excited about fairy tale retellings. I'm not really sure why that is but I have a pretty good feeling that it's because when you grow up hearing stories (or watching movies) about these fairy tales, you grow attached. Beauty and the Beast was a big one for me. I adore that Disney movie and it's hard to believe that it can be improved upon. So when Rachel Demeter sent me a message asking me to give her newest novel a read, I was a bit nervous. What if I picked it up and absolutely hated it? That's a reader's worst nightmare. But that's not how it turned out. Not at all. 

First of all, the cover is absolutely beautiful. I'm definitely a cover-judger. I'll admit it. Now on to the most important part ... the actual book. As I started reading, I kept finding myself sitting on the edge of my chair, just waiting for this book to mimic Beauty and the Beast. I was just so sure that it was going to happen and I think that it really took something away from those first few chapters. I ended up stopping and going back to the beginning but without the jaded thoughts. Because not once did it mimic Beauty and the Beast. Of course it was reminiscent but it never went to mimicry. It was so much more. 

This. This is what Beauty and the Beast should have been. It's probably what it would have been if it had been written for an adult audience. Isabelle was the perfect heroine. She was the perfect combination of contradictions. She was so very strong but at the same time, very fragile. She was extremely brave yet skittish. She loved beauty but also saw the beauty in flaws. She was exactly what I envisioned our beloved Belle would be like. And Prince Adam ... you want to just weep for him but at the same time, you're rooting for the handsomely scarred prince. He has put up these walls around himself and his heart, refusing to let anyone in. Getting to experience Prince Adam as he tries to traverse the rocky landscape of his transforming life was something I wish I could get back. I want that first read magic again because it was absolutely phenomenal. 

I don't want to say too much about the story itself because I don't want to ruin any of the many surprises. All I will say is that it is a story that will stay with me. I'll definitely be rereading this one and I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out because THIS is what Rachel Demeter was meant to do. These fairy tale retellings. It blew me out of the water and I'm so excited about this little sub-genre but I know I can't read something from someone else because it just won't be as good. Just have to wait for the next one from Demeter. And it won't be a patient wait! 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: March 15th, 2017

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