Author: Stacey Jay
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
It takes a very interesting plot in order to get me into a romantically centered tale, but Jay seems to nail it almost perfectly. Of Beast and Beauty is a well written fractured fairy tale, even if the narrative can be a bit much at times. All the classic elements of Beauty and the Beast are here in this tale, but it is definitely a story of its own.
The Beast: Gem - a mutant, tainted by the ill wishes of this really tricked out evil spirit that we are introduced to at the very beginning of the story, and that then teases us for pretty much the remainder of the novel until we finally get the back story on what it even is. Gem lives outside the domed walls of the city, in the wasteland of the desert ravaged by this evil spirit. With his tribe starving to death, Gem is one of the warriors chosen to try to help save their kind.
The Kindred Spirit: Isra - seeing as how she has been blind since an incident that killed her mother when she was three, Princess Isra is not the same book loving heroine as Belle, but she's still charming and delightful with just the right amount of naivety. Just like Belle, she loses her father towards the beginning of the tale, and befriends the beast that others believe should simply be killed. Unlike Belle, however, Isra is not the prisoner in this story, the beast is. So that's an interesting turn of event.
The Rose: the garden - in Beauty and the Beast, the rose symbolizes the Beast's livelihood. In Of Beast and Beauty, it's the roses in the garden that hold the magical powers, and they symbolize Isra's livelihood instead. Let me be the first to tell you, these roses are a little whacked out. They are definitely one of the more interesting plot points in the story.
Now, don't get me wrong, we're not looking at classic literature in the making here. But it's a fun, quick read that I absolutely devoured. The only reason I don't rate this novel as a Buy is that now that I've read it and know the outcome, it's not exactly a novel I would necessarily ever read again. But the first read through? Utter fab.