Started: December 29, 2017
Finished: December 30, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars
There is something out there, he’d said. Something cunning.
Yeva is the youngest of three sisters, daughters of a merchant and doing what women their age should do; look for suitable husbands. Yeva is known for being beautiful – even her father calls her Beauty – but that is not what she wants her future husband to marry her for. She wants to marry someone who values her skills. Who loves her because she is a hunter like her father.
When her father loses all his money, the family is forced to move to his old hunting cabin at the edge of the great woods. Yeva’s father goes into the woods to hunt. Soon, it becomes apparent that he is obsessed with hunting something unusual. When that obsession ends in him not coming back home, Yeva makes up her mind and goes after him. And meets the Beast.
This is a very captivating retelling of Beauty and the Beast, inspired by Russian folklore. Yeva is a wonderful character and the short snippets from the Beast’s point of view are written in a way that is incredibly intriguing. You can see when he starts to go from Beast to something more human… and back again.
I could, however, not give this a full five star rating as I felt pieces of the story line could actually have been extended. The ending could have been a bit more complex – in fact that felt like the better option and, perhaps, it was the original intent. I seem to remember this at first being planned as the first installment of a series, only to then be turned into a stand-alone novel (might be recalling this wrong, though). But it’s still a really good novel and one I truly recommend people give a shot at reading.