Title: The Beast’s Heart
Author: Leife Shallcross
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC via NetGalley
Never before have a read a book as enchanting as this one. It felt magical and brought me immediately into the story.
It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling told from the point of view of the beast. In the beginning, he is a beast running on all fours through a forest, in complete anguish over his state. Soon he finds the mansion he once lived in before he was cursed to become a beast. Within he finds many of the things that he remembers from his life as a human and begins to live his days in a more human way. Attempting to walk up-right once again and reading books to pass the time. One day a man stumbles into his forest and through his magic, the beast coaxes the man to his home in order to help restore him to health. While the man dreams, the beast gets a view into the dreams and discovers the man has three daughters at home. He gives the man an ultimatum to bring the youngest daughter to him or the beast will seek the man out to kill him.
What ensues is the beauty and the beast story. However, the beast is no malevolent mean creature and he had no intentions of killing the man. He only wants companionship as he greatly misses human interaction. The man’s youngest daughter, Isabeau, arrives at the beast’s mansion and the beast gives her the choice to stay with him for a year in companionship or go back home to her family. Of course they spend a year together, growing a lovely friendship.
If you know the Beauty and the Beast story, I am not spoiling anything for you. The magic of this story however is in the telling. Leife Shallcross has such a way of writing that brings the words on the page to life in a completely magical way. And of course there are twists to this story that make it it’s own. It is beautiful and I definitely recommend it to any romance or retelling fan.
“‘If you could only know,’ she had said to me, her gnarled hands restless in mine, ‘how it changes everything. How anything may be endured when you know there is another whose heart beats in accord with your own. You must find someone who understands you, chérie.'”
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.
I am the Beast.
The day I was cursed to this wretched existence was the day I was saved—although it did not feel so at the time.
My redemption sprung from contemptible roots; I am not proud of what I did the day her father happened upon my crumbling, isolated chateau. But if loneliness breeds desperation then I was desperate indeed, and I did what I felt I must. My shameful behaviour was unjustly rewarded.
My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart; she taught me how to be human again.
And now I might lose her forever.
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