They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.
Beast: A Tale of Love and RevengeFeatured
Not your classic Disney fairytale retelling
At first I was thinking, no not another Beauty and the Beast reimagining. But Jensen’s interpretation of the classic beloved fairy tale is not expected nor is it for the faint of heart. A darker, much more twisted story unfolds as the reader begins to explore the somewhat familiar world of the author’s creation.
What I loved:
I fell in love with about 60% of this book. The beginning was definitely a slow starter, but that has never been an issue for me with books. I like a slow burner. I grew to love Lucie’s character as she transformed and learned to cope with the horrible thing that happened to her. And Beast was by far the absolute best thing about this book. His character journey is definitely worth the read. The writing is beautifully done and the setting is such a magical interpretation of Beast’s castle that we loved from the child’s fairytale.
What I didn’t love:
I don’t feel the book synopsis fully prepareD me for the kind of retelling I was about to read. This is a much darker story than the cover or blurb implies. Readers should focus on the theme of “Revenge” as mentioned in the title over the “Love.” There are many moments where Beast is not a pleasant story.
Rose’s character was necessary to complete the fairytale, but she was rather flat and impossible to like, although that was likely the author’s intent. As much as I disliked Rose, her presence made me root for Lucie that much more. However, the idea that Lucie loved Beast exactly as he was, and wanted him to remain in his animal form, was a little off putting in terms of their happily ever after.
While I enjoyed much of the story with its incredible twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale, the last quarter of the book wasn’t as captivating as the first three quarters.
Fans of fairytale retellings will want to prepare themselves for a retelling that sets everything they know about Beauty and the Beast upside down. Dark and twisted, Beast captures the spirit of the original tale, while becoming something entirely its own.