“There’s no such thing as living happily ever after — there’s only living. We make the choice to do it happily.”
It took me a bit to get into this one, but once I did, I loved it. This was a fresh spin on Beauty and the Beast which combined the popular fairytale with the story of Ivan, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf.
“Fairy tales are about lessons. Those who are virtuous and true are rewarded, while those who are wicked and greedy are punished.”
Fierce and brave, Yeva was determined to avenge her father, even if it meant facing the beast who killed him. I loved this twist on Beauty’s character and the way she played a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the Beast. I’m not convinced about their relationship, though. I felt that it was surface level and could have been fleshed out a bit more. The other characters were interesting and I liked the twist on Gaston. For a change, he was actually a decent and kind fellow. Lastly, I loved how Asenka’s story ended. Actually, I think that was one of my favourite aspects of the story. She deserves a novel dedicated entirely to her.
The writing was beautiful and despite the fact that the plot was slow to start, its pace picked up as the story went along. I’m not sure about the ending, though. The whole point was that they had been longing for something their entire lives, that there had been disquiet in their hearts and that this was finally annulled by their love for each other. I liked this book, but I was left with an empty feeling. Sure, it’s romantic and all, but it was a little shallow for my taste.
Finally, this was an enjoyably clean read.
If you love fairytale retellings, you must put this one on your to-read list.