Of Beast and Beauty (Daughters of Eville #1)
By Chanda Hahn
This book was chosen for my 2021 retelling reading challenge. It popped up on Amazon when I was searching for new retellings. An enchanting story is what I’d hoped for, but unfortunately this didn’t turn out to be a favorite. If you plan to read this book, you may want to skip over my review because it may contain mild spoilers.
Quick Summary: The story begins with Rosalie, a young woman who’s always dreamed of falling in love and settling down rather than spending her life as a spinster, but she’s a magical witch whose mother has plans of her own. Her mother forces a marriage between Rosalie and the Prince of Baist, but there’s a huge problem: Prince Xander is already engaged and has no interest in her. He orders her away right after the wedding and forces her to make herself unseen. With Rosalie’s magic, she’s able to become someone else and mingle around to investigate matters. There are strange things happening around the village including a beast who’s killing innocent people. More villains appear, and Rosalie begins to understand her true roots. This beast may be much closer than they think.
My thoughts: I have to say that I LOVE the cover! There were things that I liked about this story, but it turned out to be an okay read and just not what I expected.
First, it made complete sense that Prince Xander would be resistant toward loving Rosalie because not only has his lover (Yasmin) been replaced, but his head has been filled with lies about Rosalie and her family. She’s considered an evil, dangerous witch that everyone fears. It’s not what he wants for his kingdom. From the beginning pages, I’m thinking we have an enemies-to-lovers trope, which I love, but sadly it wasn’t strong enough for me. The two main characters are barely together for a lot of the story, and the constant on-again off-again was probably why I felt the relationship didn’t build much. There’s no love between the two main characters, yet in the end it appears out of thin air, and it makes the ending seem rushed and nonsensical. I realize this is teen/YA, and I truly appreciate that the romance was kept clean for younger readers, but more romance or more of something would’ve fixed this problem, in my opinion. It just wasn’t convincing enough for me. There are just too many other things going on here too, and because of that, it felt like the story was missing huge pieces.
As far as characters, there wasn’t much development at all. Rosalie was easy to like though; she’s strong, wants to be good, and she’s nearly fearless. Her character was likable, and I appreciated her good traits, but we don’t find out much about the other characters or the purpose of their intentions. Prince Xander is confusing. So, in a nutshell, the majority of the characters were very flat. Maybe they’ll be fleshed out in the other books though.
Positives: I did like that this is a totally reimagined retelling with only subtle connections to the original. It’s unique and exciting at times with many secrets that I didn’t find too predictable. The author did a great job keeping the truth about the beast quite elusive, and there were other twists that made the story interesting. The family theme was strong too.
I’m glad to have finished this one because I came very close to quitting a third of the way in. Overall, I’m going to give this one 2.5-3***. This is just my personal opinion of course. This book gets very positive reviews by plenty of other readers, so if you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast retellings, definitely give this one a try!
- Publisher : Chanda Hahn (June 5, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 310 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1950440079
- ISBN-13 : 978-1950440078
Something evil this way comes.
7 Vengeful Sisters
7 Fairytale Kingdoms
7 Daughters of Eville
Everyone dreams of marrying a prince—except for me. I am nothing more than a pawn in my adoptive mother’s diabolical plot against the seven kingdoms. I was the chosen tool, her sharpened blade that would cut the deepest into the heart of the Kingdom of Baist. But like all deadly weapons, my wedding is two-edged sword that could cost me my soul.
For I am Rosalie, one of the adopted daughters of Lady Eville, and it is my duty to enter into a loveless and hate-filled marriage with the narcissistic Crown Prince of Baist. My choices and heart are not my own to give. Yet even in the thick of dire situations, beastly vengeance can give way to beautiful attraction.
This book was chosen for my 2021 Retelling Reading Challenge which can be viewed by clicking here.
Thanks for reading my review. Have you read this book or any other retellings lately? Feel free to leave comments below. I’m always looking for recommendations!