Retellings Revisited


Okay, so I get into a genre groove sometimes and I just have to ride it out until the next wave. Sorry? Anyway, today’s post is about a trilogy based on the Beauty and the Beast tale. The themes of love, betrayal, truth, and healing connect all three books beautifully. A beast is not always an evil creature, a man is not always a good man, but decisions always have consequences. Oh, and be on the look out for a Groundhog’s Day (the movie) vibe.

Year after year forever the curse visits Rhen and what is left of his kingdom. The beast ravages the castle and the surrounding villages. The royal family has been decimated, only Rhen  is left. The curse can only be lifted when a girl falls in love with him. He’s lost track of how many girls Grey, his faithful to a fault guard, has brought him, each one a failure. On this day, however, something different happens.

Harper is on guard as her brother, an enforcer for a local gang, “does his business”. From the shadows of her hideout she spots a suspicious looking man carrying a young woman. Though she suffers with a damaged foot due to cerebral palsy, she has a strong sense of right and wrong and what is happening right in front of her is definitely wrong. She attacks the man with the only weapon she has, a crowbar. Her selfless action lands her in a place unlike anything she’s ever seen, a fantastical world with monsters and magic. She is tough and stubborn and Rhen is resigned to his fate. Can the two ever find common ground? Will love finally break the curse?

The story continues in the second and third books where each character is transformed into something else. As they navigate these new roles, magic weaves around them making their lives both easier and worse. Their strength, resolve and bonds will be sorely tested as they must figure out a way to vanquish the force of evil in their lands.

OMG…these books are absolutely fabulous! I was left wrung out as I read the last page of the last book. It was a satisfying ending that I didn’t want to happen. Brigid Kemmer’s world building is brilliant. The relationships between the characters is authentic and compelling; the betrayals, love, respect, and strengths combine to make a complex dynamic. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good story.


About dknott715

I am a high school librarian and avid reader. I work in a high school library in Chesterfield, VA serving 9th grade students and staff.

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