Genres: Young Adult, YA Fantasy | Release Date: 18 June 2019 | Series: Daughters of Eville | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 312 | Indie Author | Review
Well I feel incredibly bad – Of Beast and Beauty has been sitting on my Kindle app for over a year, and I’ve only just read it! Whatever you do, DON’T BE LIKE ME. I was well and truly missing out! Chanda Hahn treats us to a magnificent fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast… And I’m already warning you, I’m going to be fangirling a lot in this review. So why has this become one of my all-time favourite retellings? Let me give you a snapshot, so if you’re late to this world (like me) you can get excited too.
Rosalie is one of the adopted daughters of a witch, Lady Eville, and just been married to the Crown Prince of Baist. It’s part of an overall plan to get revenge on the seven kingdoms, and Rose is determined not to let her mother down. News of a beast, killing anyone who enters the woods at night, exacerbates the tension and overwhelming emotions experienced by both Rose and Xander; everyone wants to declare that it’s Rosalie’s fault, just because she’s a witch. When a contingent (including Rose) go hunting to bring the beast down, everything goes awry… The Prince continually contradicts himself, by both despising and yet being drawn to Rose at the same time. The beast’s tracks keep disappearing. And there are even numerous political manipulations, just waiting to take down the Kingdom of Baist.
So as you can probably tell, it’s a lot packed into one book. And that’s just the short version!
Sometimes I try to remember that I need to savour a book. Other times, like when I was reading Of Beast and Beauty, I don’t care. I’ll race, full tilt, towards the very last page. I actually started reading this fantasy at just before 11pm, finishing it at 2am. Have I been sleepy all day? Yes. But it was SO worth it. Even my tired eyes are thanking me, because Of Beast and Beauty has been a treat. I know, that’s not giving you details as to why I have a happiness boost going on. But it can be part of it, because if I race through a book, I’m clearly loving it!
This isn’t the standard Beauty and the Beast retelling. We don’t have a damsel in distress, or even a clever girl who wants to break free from society’s shackles. Rosalie is confident in herself, even when prejudice hurts her heart. She does not crumple. She does not whine. Instead, she turns to her strengths and defies the idiots around her. I am 100% certain I am not at all like Rosalie, but oh how I wish I was. To be that certain (and brilliant) would be something!
The secondary characters are also extremely interesting. There’s a creature in here, that made me laugh so much; I’ll let you read Of Beast and Beauty to guess who it was, and what part, but it was a doozy! (Do the young kids say doozy any more? Probably not!) Suffice to say, Chanda has given us an incredible story, and the characters are just one of the many highlights within it.
I couldn’t find a downside, as I adored everything about this fairytale retelling! Now I just have to get the rest of the series…
If you haven’t yet read Of Beast and Beauty, for whatever reason, make sure you take the time to do so now. This retelling hits all of the high points you want from a reimagined Beauty and the Beast, and it was *such* a good feeling to read of a confident heroine. Life wasn’t easy, the obstacles were great, but Rosalie was stubborn and persevered. I think we could all do with taking inspiration from this tale, particularly from Rose. I loved this book so much, I’m thinking of buying a paperback copy to go with my ebook, because I want to hug it. It’s just a thing, okay? Of Beast and Beauty has been a magical ride.
You can order via my Amazon link: Of Beast and Beauty