Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
Posted by Kierra at 9:00 AM Saturday, September 28, 2013
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
Stacey Jay has a magical ability to pull readers into the strange worlds she creates. Her
powerful, poetic writing caused me to lose myself for three hours as I devoured her book. Of Beast and Beauty is unlike her previous novels, Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed. Jay’s latest novel is a retelling of the classic story Beauty and the Beast that she has made her own.
Beast is a princess named Isra who must die to ensure her people will live. Blind and a “Smooth
Skin” that is afraid she is “Monsterous”, Isra is part of a curse she knows nothing about. Gem is Beauty, a man labeled “Monsterous” that lives in the desert, working against Isra to save his own dying people. Isra and Gem come from different worlds, but share an inner strength and perseverance. To save themselves and the people they love, the two will face an ancient evil.
Although Of Beast and Beauty was difficult to put down, the culmination of the plot was
unsatisfying. The plot flowed too easily and left me feeling disappointed; the book proceeded exactly as expected. I felt as though I knew how the book would progress as soon as I began reading. Still, falling into the world of Isra and Gem was enjoyable, and I would recommend the book to readers who have enjoyed Jay’s earlier novels or other retellings.
"Reviewed by Chelsea"
This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
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