Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. The first time I ever read a version of this tale was from my set of Best In Children’s Books.
I still have the books. I enjoyed the TV show created as a modern version of Beauty and the Beast and will go back and play it occasionally. Then during Savvy’s current visit and a trip to the library with me, she found this rendition by Mercedes Lackey, Beauty and the Werewolf.
First off, I am a fan of Mercedes Lackey. I really enjoy her work. This is the latest in her Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. If you enjoy fairy tales, these are a great spin on well known stories.
First off, if you are reading a story based on an established tale, yes there is a definite element of predictability. You have to enter into the reading with the premise of unwilling female gets trapped in the castle with the ‘beast’ and falls in love with him, breaking the curse and they all live happily ever after. The difference is in the details and Lackey provides plenty.
Bella, the heroine, is strong willed and practical. Sebastian, is the Duke no one ever sees. Eric, is the gamekeeper who is also Sebastian’s bastard brother and his guardian. Typical so far. Then there are the servants. Really great treatment there. And the idea of “Tradition”.
If you, like myself, like the story, this is a must read. A bit predicable, but expected. There are enough differences to make it a good read. I really enjoyed the characterization of Bella in this version. And they did live happily ever after.