Friday, October 19, 2018

Once upon a time...

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairy tales; and Hunted by Meagan Spooner is a fun retelling of this classic tale. It begins with Tvertko, a rich merchant, and his three daughters: Asenka, Lena and Yeva. Yeva, the youngest, is her father's favorite, the one he calls Beauty. She's also the one he teaches to feel at home in the woods ... and to hunt. When Tvertko loses his fortune, he retreats with his family to his hunting cabin in the woods. Only these woods are haunted by a strange, cursed creature. And when Tvertko goes missing, Yeva goes hunting for him. And for the Beast that killed him. But when she finds him, he's not what she was expecting.


"Yeva scanned the Beast's face for some time before realizing she was searching for some hint of its thoughts in its expression--some human hint. But this was no human. The beast was silent, continuing only to stare at Yeva with that unnerving, unblinking animal gaze. She stood her ground, willing herself not to shiver. ... In every fairy tale there were rules. Even the monsters could not break them. And where, except in fairy tales, did there exist talking beasts?"
 Beauty by Robin McKinley is still my favorite version of this fairy tale, but Hunted is a good runner-up. It's an entertaining read with a happy ending. I liked how Spooner took such a well-known story and made it her own. Yeva's a strong, independent heroine, with courage and fight. And heart. But I was most drawn to the Beast. I really felt for him and his impossible situation. And I loved how he is around Beauty: how she stirs up emotions in him he's long forgotten and makes him question everything.  In fact, he's what I liked best about this book.
"We will not break the terms of our sentence. We cannot explain, or we risk remaining trapped together for the rest of eternity. But the girl's face, when we turn to look at her, carries a thousand questions, and she is clever. We must tread with care. We need her skills. That is all. Only she can free us from this torment. Only ... she moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest--she reminds us of what we used to be. She whispers to us of what we could be."
 Happy Reading!

33 comments:

  1. This one has been on my TBR list since it came out, but I STILL haven't gotten around to reading it. I've heard good things about it, so I'm not sure why I haven't just read it already! Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. It's taken me forever to get around to reading it, too. But it was worth the wait.

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  2. I've read two YA scifi/fantasy books by Spooner and Amy Kaufman that I enjoyed, and love Robin Mckinley's fairy tale retellings. This one goes on the list!

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    1. It's a good one. I think you'll like it. :)

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  3. I really like that cover-very pretty!

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    1. That's part of what drew me to this book in the first place.

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  4. This has been on my TBR list since it was released, but somehow I missed that it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It is also one of my favorite fairy tales!

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    1. Spooner does a good job with her retelling!

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  5. I read this earlier this year and really enjoyed it! It's not a genre I read that often but when I do and I connect with the writing, it's great. I'll keep my eyes open for Beauty, also.

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    1. Beauty is even better! I really love McKinley's writing. :)

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  6. I love Beauty and the Beast! This book sounds awesome! I'm so happy you shared about it - thank you, Lark!!

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  7. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite! I'll definitely be adding this book to my wishlist.

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    1. I love this fairy tale, too. Although the Twelve Dancing Princesses is a close second. :)

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  8. I'm not sure I have a favorite fairy tale! But any mention of Beauty and the Beast makes me think of the Beast's library, in the Disney version. Is there a library in this one?

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    1. There is a library in this one, and books do play a small part, but not like in the Disney version.

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  9. I had no idea this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling! Cool! One day I’ll get to it.

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    1. Funny. I say that about a lot of books, too. ;D

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  10. I love a good classic tale, but a good retelling offers another new perspective which I always find refreshing. Will keep this book in mind. :)

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  11. this is one of my favorite beauty & the beast retelling, though I really think the end is rushed and it would have been nice if there is more explanation as well.

    have a lovely day.

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    1. Compared to the amount of time Spooner spends on the rest of the story, the ending does fell a bit rushed. I agree. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

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  12. This one has been on my wish list for awhile now. I love Beauty and the Beast and really want to read to read this one. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. It was good. I'm glad I finally read it. :)

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  13. The cover of this one always jumps out at me. Glad it's a good retelling- I like the writing from the samples you provided.

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    1. Spooner does a really good job with this one.

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  14. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed this book! I have a copy sitting on my shelf, just waiting for me to get to it. I'll have to bump it up the queue a bit, since I also love Beauty and the Beast retellings.

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  15. I don't know the Robin McKinley version, but this one looks so good! I like Yeva!

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    1. She's a great character. :)

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    2. Verushka, McKinley actually has two retellings, Beauty and Rose Daughter. Both are wonderful, but Beauty is more the traditional story (and more YA), and Rose Daughter is more... I want to say "dreamlike"; the magic in it is more inexplicable, the prose is more haunting, the feel is a bit darker. I recommend them both, along with her marvelous reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, Spindle's End.

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  16. Glad you enjoyed this one. I keep meaning to pick it up!

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    1. :D I know what that's like! There are so many books that I keep meaning to pick up.

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