Thursday, September 15, 2016

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast (Laurie)

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales. Fantasy and romance all wrapped in with a great moral - stories don't get much better than that! I've read two books recently that were inspired by Beauty and the Beast, so I thought it would be fitting to cover them in the same post.

Trevelyan by Naomi Musch
TrevelyanTrevelyan is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Belle's story stayed pretty close to the original fairy tale, but Musch adds an entire plotline involving Belle's brothers, a few elves, and other adventurers who set out to rescue Belle from the Beast and learn a great deal about their world along the way, through many pitfalls and the aid of a community of fairies. One aspect that made this book stand out to me was the setting. The landscape and the beauties and perils of the fantasy world were brought to life with lush, vivid descriptions. I also liked the way Belle encountered the Beast's human form in her dreams, both complicating and deepening her relationship with the Beast.

While there were many elements I enjoyed about this story, I found the characters to be a little flat. Belle was just about perfect in both appearance and demeanor, while in contrast her sisters had virtually no redeeming qualities. I was interested in what would happen to the characters and enjoyed being a part of their world, but never felt a close connection with any of them. But if you'd like to see a new, beautifully-written spin on Beauty and the Beast, you should definitely check this out!

The Beast's Enchantress by Elizabeth Jane Kitchens
The Beast's EnchantressIn her interview with Lands Uncharted, Kitchens said her story was inspired by the prologue in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, in which the old hag turns into a beautiful, powerful enchantress when angered by the prince. It follows Alexandria, the eldest daughter of a duke, who enjoys dabbling in magic and has a keen appreciation for beauty and refinement. When Alexandria discovers an attachment between her younger sister and a man who doesn't meet her family's high standards, she tampers with a magic mirror in an attempt to break it off. As punishment, the magic mirror transports her to a different time and place to complete a set of tasks and learn some lessons along the way.

I adored this book! It got off to a bit of a slow start, but I loved the way the characters and events of Beauty and the Beast wove into Alexandria's story, and the lessons she learns about true beauty and worth were compelling and thought-provoking. Kitchens' writing evokes strong visual images, and I really enjoyed her world-building, especially the fascinating concept of Magic Collectors. And the romance! *Sigh* I can't say much without risking spoilers, but the romantic relationship developed in such a sweet, organic way, and the ending left me with a big, stupid grin on my face for hours. Seriously, just ask my husband - he was laughing at me :)  Suffice it to say, if you like fairy tales, adventure, romance, character development, or all of the above, The Beast's Enchantress will not disappoint!

Do you have a favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling or related story? Do you prefer retellings that stay close to the original, or do you enjoy creative twists?

Thanks for reading!

The Beast's Enchantress: 


  1. Thanks for the review, Laurie! You did a great job summing up the story. For someone who's currently struggling to write a blurb, I am impressed and slightly envious!

    Trevelyan sounds like an interesting book, and I really like the cover. Might have to check that one out. :)

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for writing such a delightful book! :) I feel like it's so much easier to sum up someone else's book compared to your own. Plus, while my law school background didn't have much relevance to writing YA fantasy, I think it did help me figure out how to condense a lot of information into a small amount of space :)

      I love the cover of Trevelyan, too, the colors are so pretty!


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