The Beast Within (Serena Valentino, 2014)

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince

Read as part of the Fairy Tale Reading Challenge

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

(Text from goodreads)

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This was once again one of those books where the cover pretty much did the sale for me, it is absolutely beautiful and even better when you remove the dust cover. It was also the fact that I absolutely love the story of The Beauty and the Beast and this is supposed to be the Beast’s story told from before the story we know Disney presented. It was with this eagerness that I began the book and finished it practically in one sitting.

However, after reading it I feel slightly let down and disappointed by the story because there is little new in the story that we do not see in the Disney film, really it only comes down to small changes here and there or too big changes that to me made very little sense. The small changes we see in the staff characters were sensible and I liked them very much, it felt like they brought more understanding to how they are in the film. However, some of the changes with the Prince was plain out strange.

“They didn’t seem real, these sisters. None of this did, because it was all absurd. He felt as if he must be dreaming, caught in a nightmare. He was entranced by Circe’s transfiguration,and it made him forget his earlier vow never again to think of her.”

One of the strangest things they changed was the relationship between the Prince and Gaston. The way the author painted the picture of the story behind the story in this manner did not suit me at all and I found it irritated me throughout the story. I appreciate the idea behind the changes but it just didn’t work for me. If only the idea had been carried out differently, it could actually have worked.

“He felt different, like he was slipping into a deep, dark ocean; he felt himself drowning in it, losing himself completely while something else took over, something that felt alien yet familiar and comfortable at the same time.”

The only thing the author actually added to this story was the story of the witch sisters, which was meant to be the reason for the Beast’s transformation. In the beginning it felt plausible, but as the story progressed and the witch sisters did too in character they were just too exaggerated in character. The story had so much potential but unfortunately it was never fully realized. To me, a fairy tale retelling has to have something new that will ultimately change the story in more ways than what this one did.

3 star

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    1. The cover and dust-cover are absolutely beautiful and with a stunning surprise, so it looks gorgeous on the shelf.
      It did have a few twists but nothing major that really did it for me, but just as you I LOVE B&B! 😀

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