“Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and 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. The Beast.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory, a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical 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 dark reimagining of Beauty and the Beast and follows Yeva on her quest to track a mysterious woodland creature who her father has become obsessed with.
”To the girl
who reads by flashlight
who sees dragons in the clouds
who feels most alive in worlds that never were
who knows magic is real.
This is for you.”
I loved this book so much, it is sheer escapism. Every page was an absolute delight and I was completely entranced from the beginning. It’s such compelling read, I was hungrily turning the pages and didn’t stop until I’d finished it. The story is set against a harsh Russian landscape, which is icy, frigid and thick with snow. It’s the perfect background for this magical story.
The author has a very beautiful and lyrical style of writing, which is so mesmerizing. The story is perfectly paced and has some very clever twists. There is quite a long build up at the beginning introducing Yeva and her family, and it is quite some time before we encounter the beast, but all of this is totally necessary.
Yeva is a good strong heroine, courageous and completely fearless. It’s genius how the author wrote the beast’s character, who refers to himself as ‘us’, a man and beast at complete odds with one another. This beast is no Disney character, he is dark and primal and frightening. I adored him and you can’t help but have an affinity with him as his character develops.
“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest – and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a life long past. She reminds us of what we used to be.
She reminds us of what we could be”.
Surprisingly there is very little romance in this book. There is a very slow build up where we initially see the development of Yeva and the beast’s mutual trust and respect for one another. This is quite beautifully and sensitively portrayed. It is not until the final chapters that Yeva’s feelings become apparent.
In truth, I was expecting a slightly more explosive ending, it lacked the magic I was hoping to see, and I was craving a more detailed description of the beast to man transformation, I still can’t visualise what he looked like? This is the only reason why I didn’t give it the full 5 stars. However, this book is absolutely wonderful, completely engrossing and such a spellbinding read. I’ve now ordered a hard copy of this book, I need it in my collection! This is my first book by this author and it won’t be the last, I adored her writing style, sheer magic.
I hope you enjoyed this review, happy reading.