‘The Beast’s Heart’ by Leife Shallcross

Reading Time: 2 minutes
'The Beasts Heart' \ image: Penguin Random House
‘The Beasts Heart’ \ image: Penguin Random House

The Beast’s Heart is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but from the beast’s point of view. We see what the beast’s life was like before the visit from the beauty’s father and how his relationship with her grew over time from one of friendship to ultimately true love.

Isabeau (pronounced Isa-bow) plays the role of the beauty who runs away from her home to be the “guest” of the beast for—as far as she knows—forever in order to save her father’s life.

The beast in this story, however, is not so beastly as in other tales I’ve read and after some discourse, Isabeau agrees to stay with him freely for one year. At the end of that year, she would return home.

As a parent, I could feel for Isabeau’s father who thought she was rotting away in some dungeon, but at times I felt frustrated at his lack of hope that maybe she was okay. As the reader, though, we know she was fine, so that may account for some of that frustration.

What I liked was watching how Isabeau and the beast’s relationship grew over the course of the year. The level of comfort that they eventually grew accustomed to was enjoyable to read.

While overall it’s a lovely story, there are parts of the story that just didn’t work for me. I think the author could have left some scenes out and the story would have survived just fine. You can only talk about the beast and Isabeau in the music room so many times before you want to move on with something else.

Overall, it was a nice story to dive into and see how someone else would put their spin on a classic. I saw aspects of several versions I’ve read all rolled into this one book and it made for an interesting read most of the time.

I highly recommend the audiobook for this story because you can hear it in the beast’s own words and it’s one of the better audio books I’ve listened to.

The Beast’s Heart is available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a review copy.

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