Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Eye of the Beholder

By Elizabeth Darcy

I am a prisoner.

Born to power, the world was my playground. My every wish was a kingdom’s command, my displeasure every man’s worst fear. But then, at the whim of a merciless enchantress, all was stolen from me. My once lavish castle became my dungeon. My once-handsome form became that of a beast. There is no hope of release from the prison of my own body, for the only way to break this curse is to earn the love of another. I, who have never felt a drop of compassion, must hope to inspire devotion. I, who am hideous beyond compare, must hope to inspire passion. After hundreds of years, I have come to accept the truth: I will never know love. There is no escape for me.

I am a prisoner.

Born to two loving parents and a happy home, I was grateful for my good fortune. Though I was plain and prone to living in my head, forced to live in the shadow of my beautiful sisters, I had everything my heart desired. Then tragedy struck, and I lost my mother and my home. Papa was all I had left in the world, and I was utterly devoted to him. When his thoughtful gesture earned him the wrath of a horrible monster, I sacrificed myself for the sake of the one person I love. Now I am a prisoner in a decaying castle with only a terrifying beast for companionship. But I am determined not to give in to the beast’s wrath, to prove to him that he can never truly ensnare me.

I have read a lot of retellings of Beauty and the Beast. It’s my favorite fairy tale, in case you haven’t been paying attention. I’ve been searching for the best one, one that fit my idea of ‘yes, this is how it would be!’ and I think I’ve come as close as I’m going to get. I love this book. It is by far the best book I’ve read about Beauty and the Beast, not just for the romance, which was done properly and slowly built up. But the actual human psychology and change within the Beast was absolutely fantastic.  Again, it was slow! I like slow, it’s realistic and it makes the journey to the end all the more worthwhile, even though you know what will happen. Mirabelle was a good character as well, nicely fleshed out and portrayed well.  My favorite part was the fact that she wouldn’t allow herself to be in love because she was…well afraid to be in love. I could completely relate to that notion, it’s illogical but it’s real! The only beef I had was with the end. It’s a small beef though. Mira is a little slow to figure out that the guy before her is the beast she loved, and I thought that was unrealistic with how intelligent she is portrayed throughout the book. It’s fairly obvious and it bothered me.  Also, they start a kissing-fest and I thought that was a bit unrealistic as well…but perhaps not. It would be for me. Anywho, YAY! I found you at last! The best Beauty and the Beast read thus far. (Sighs in contentment)

I give it a 4.25 out of 5

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