Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

 Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

Book Summary

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.


Book Details

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen
Expected publication July 10th, 2018 by Candlewick Press
Young Adult Fiction / Fairy Tales & Folklore / Adaptations
Hardcover, 352 pages
Reading Source: Publisher
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

 

My Review

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen reinvents the classic "Beauty and the Beast" tale into something darker and more layered.  

In the Author's Notes, Jenning's mentions how she wanted to give readers the Beast as a hero and a new heroine, one who wanted to preserve the Beast and who could open her heart to him. Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge is aptly named. Having read and enjoyed Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen, I knew I wanted to read this retelling.

The author creates a powerful message of transformation here, but readers should be aware of its darker themes.

The story that unfolds is one that touches on such themes as assault, hatred, revenge and fear but it is also a tale of love and beauty and hope.

Jensen uses a creative twist through the narration of Lucie's character, adding a third protagonist to the story.

With Lucie, Jensen creates a brave and sympathetic heroine who must decide whether to hold on to her anger and revenge or look beyond the Beast's exterior to the beauty that lies within. Once Lucie's character is enchanted, I did have some issues remaining connected emotionally to Lucie—though, I loved the positive message of her transformation.

The Beast's story with his multifaceted personality and growth are by far the best parts to read.

His voice, as it changes from a wide spectrum of emotions and awareness, add such depth and layers to the book, creating an endearing character to root for.

Vivid descriptions transport readers to a lush setting where a garden of unfurling roses, redolent in perfume and color, creates a perfect backdrop for this story.

Here, the familiar elements of "Beauty and the Beast" are mixed into something completely new. This retelling is anything but the Disney version, but rather something more complex and nuanced.

The ending, with the arrival of Rose's and the Beast's transformation, was my least favorite part.  

It felt somewhat fractured and rushed. As much as I disliked Rose, her presence was necessary to fulfill the ending. It just made me hope that much more for Lucie and the Beast to find their ending, one beyond the happily-ever-after.

In the End

While I loved the positive message of transformation given and the creative twists on the Beauty and the Beast tale, Lucie's narration after her enchantment was hard to connect with and the ending was somewhat lackluster compared the rest of the story.

Recommended for:

Fans of fairytale retellings with a darker twist. Readers should be prepared for some sensitive themes. Beast captures the essence of the original tale, while endearing readers with his own unique voice of wonder and enchantment. 


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