When her father goes bankrupt, Yeva, her father, and her sisters have to sell off all of their wealth and move back in to the rundown hunting cabin he owned prior to marrying their mother. He is determined to build back up their wealth by tracking and hunting the fantastical creatures of the forest he taught Yeva about in her childhood. Instead on of those beasts ends up killing him instead. Yeva, nicknamed beauty by her father, goes off on a hunt of her own finding much more than she’d bargained for.
As you can guess, this is a fairy-tale retelling of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast- but with a twist. Meagan Spooner sets her Beauty in Russia and fills her tale with Russian folk tales that embodies this tale with life beyond a Beauty falling in love with her Beast in a broken down castle. In her captivity, Yeva keeps herself sane by telling her captor every story she can remember turning her dark and dank cell into multi-hued world, if just for a moment. As she spends more time with her Beast, she see’s through his outer appearance to see the humanity within him, realizing he may be one of her tales turned to life.
I am not sure why it took me so long to read this book other than I had a ton of fairy-tale re-tellings on my list and even though I’d heard this one was very good, I thought I knew the story of Beauty and the Beast. However, the Russian folk stories gave life to this Beauty and the Beast and I really liked the world Meagan Spooner built for the setting. I liked the Beast’s origin story and the journey Yeva had to take, both internal and external, to save him from becoming a true Beast gave more meat to the romantic musical that Disney made popular. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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