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I bought the book.
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?
While the cover is pretty simple, I absolutely love how they did the hardcover. The sleeve is the beast as a beast, but when you take it off, it’s Prince Adam as a human. I thought it was clever. As someone who always takes the jacket off as they read, it was a nice surprise.
I love my fair share of fairy-tale retellings. It’s not often you get one of the villain (even though the beast isn’t technically the bad guy). So this is something I wanted to try out.
The plot is simply Beauty and the Beast but through the Beast’s eyes. There are a few changes here and there, but for the most part, a lot is similar to the Disney movie.
The majority of this story is a flash back as the Beast searches for people to love after he’s cursed. Instead of one witch cursing him, it’s a group of sisters who do the deed after the Beast breaks up with one of their sisters. It’s certainly an interesting twist, but it didn’t really do it for me.
Aside from the witches and Beast’s girlfriends here and there, the characters were all the same as the Disney movie. The difference being that I cared more about the characters in the movie than I did in this book.
Some parts seemed like they were taken straight from the movie, losing all originality for me. The witches were annoying and none of the characters seemed to develop at all… except the Beast, but we already knew that.
The writing was too dry for me. I realize that sounds harsh, but there wasn’t any feeling behind the words. The dialogue was flat and the description could have been better. I appreciated the world the author tried to build, but it just didn’t work for me.
This book isn’t what I expected. It was either way too similar to the Disney movie or it was way off the marker. It’s good to try new things with a world that’s already been built for you, but when it’s such a classic, you have to be delicate with it. And it just didn’t work for this.
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino gets…
2 out of 5 cups
“To die, one much first have been alive. And the Beast could finally say that by finding love, he had lived.” –Serena Valentino, The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince