Author: Stacey Jay
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 23rd 2013
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
I have noticed that Beauty and the Beast is one of the most widely retold fairy tales. I have read Beauty and the Beast retellings before but I find them predictable and boring. This one has a lot of plot twists and turns which makes the story interesting and exciting.
I really like Isra, the princess of Yuan. Even if she’s blind she doesn’t let her disability get in the way with her happiness. She’s not your typical damsel in distress, she won’t go down without a fight. Gem is also an interesting character, he’s a warrior but he has a soft, compassionate side. Their relationship is unique, they clearly like each other but their differences dictate that they should hate each other.
“Its pointless. Hopeless. Even if she weren’t afraid of me, we’ll always be enemies at the core. She rules a wicked, selfish city, and my tribe suffers for her peoples comfort. Shes a queen; I’m her prisoner. I resent her and she fears me, and there are times when I fear her, too. I am her monster, and she is mine. But right now none of it matters.”
Of Beast and Beauty was a breath of fresh air for me. It’s unique from the retellings I have read before. It has its own twists while still maintaining the essence of the fairy tale it’s based on. Sometimes I forget I am reading a retelling (which is a good thing). This book is perfect for people who love to read novels with nice twist to the classics. I must say this novel did Beauty and the Beast Justice!
“Beauty is wherever you find it, and Beast is there when you need to defend it.”