When I started reading this retelling of the original fairytale, I couldn’t help focusing on the similarities and differences to the original story and Disney version, the main difference being the beast is female. But author, E.J. Hill’s beautiful writing soon carried me into her unique version of the story. Her intricate plot details wove together with vivid descriptions to create something new and unexpected and drew me into her mysterious world.
Kalista was cursed by a powerful sorceress with a spell that keeps her trapped within her castle and the enchanted forest. She only has some invisible servants to keep her company. When Arawn charges through the forest seeking revenge for his brother’s death, he becomes the last hope for breaking the curse. Told from alternating perspectives, Kalista and Arawn gradually reveal their developing feelings for one another. Everyone wants to break the curse, but the answer is not as simple as being kissed by the prince. They will have to fight the complicated elements of the evil spell before time runs out.
In her suspenseful story, Hill brought depth to her characters. I think sharing both viewpoints brought me closer to their thoughts and was a good choice to separate Hill’s version from others. I’m glad this is a clean read because I would recommend it to teens twelve and up who enjoy fantasy novels. I look forward to reading more from E.J. Hill.