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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

Review

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

A fairy tale retelling you really don’t want to miss, BEAST: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen takes on a whole new version of the classic version we all grew up with. Lucie is a servant at Château Beaumont and experiences firsthand how beastly the master of the house can be. After an incident with the master, Lucie channels her feelings into revenge and seeing the chevalier of the house suffer and her wish is granted by a wisewoman. The chevalier is transformed into a beast, and from there the classic story takes on a whole new twist that will leave the readers questioning the transformation of handsome master to ugly beast.

From the very first chapter of the book, I found myself most intrigued. With each new page I turned, the book just grew more and more interesting. Jensen found a way to turn a well-known story into her own novel full of plot twists and surprises. Fans of fairy tale retellings would enjoy this book and I found it similar to BEASTLY by Alex Flinn in the way that both authors create their own versions of the story. I had such empathy for the main character Lucie and how strong she was despite the cruel things that happened to her. I did find it strange that the wisewoman turned Lucie into a candlestick when the chevalier was turned into the Beast, and even stranger that Lucie did not see her transformation as a form of entrapment. I suppose it makes sense, as she wanted a way to escape her human body, which she viewed as weak, while making sure her revenge on the chevalier was exacted.

"A fairy tale retelling you really don’t want to miss....Lucie [was] such a great heroine to follow."

While classic Disney has the ugly beast turned into a handsome prince in the end, Jensen makes the reader question why handsome has to always equate goodness. In her version, the beast is the “good” one and the chevalier is the “bad” one. At first I was confused, as the story deviated from the Disney tale, but then I realized what Jensen was trying to do in creating two characters that were so contrasting. There is no one definition of a hero. Jensen makes this clear in this novel as readers grow to hate the handsome chevalier while loving the beast. It also made me realize that I never questioned why the beast always turns back into his handsome state, I just took for granted that the beautiful heroine deserved a handsome prince as a reward for falling in love with someone who was deemed too ugly to be loveable.

I enjoyed reading this book, and would totally recommend it to anyone who lives fiction and fairy tale retellings. If you’re someone who likes books that are classic tales with a twist, then this is the book for you. I admired the feminist aspects in Lucie, despite the novel taking place in a time period that was not very progressive. While Lucie could have blamed herself like she did at first, eventually with the help of her dear friend, Lucie was able to see that it wasn’t her fault and the blame was on the chevalier. Lucie’s strong character even led her to admit when she was wrong, and overall she was such a great heroine to follow.

Reviewed by Ilona K., Teen Board Member on July 11, 2018

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
by Lisa Jensen