20, 03, 2016
A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that – of all her sisters – she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory’s betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm – a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling.
In this retelling of Beauty and The Beast, can Glory overcome her vanity to learn that what she wants isn’t what she needs—and save the cursed prince?
Beauty and The Beast was one of my favourite Disney films so when I saw that this book was a retelling of this classic my interest was piqued, and the blurb made me think I would really enjoy this book, but sadly this was not the case. The premise of the story was perfect; a curse, magical creatures, royalty, many things that would intrigue me in a story. However, I almost didn’t read it all because the prologue was really long and I kept losing interest, and if this is happening at the beginning of the book it can’t be good. The prologue took us to the past to see just how the Prince came to be deformed and cursed, but it was just too drawn out.
I just felt like the whole book needed some more developments; you never really get a chance to feel the love between Glory and Eoghan, it felt rushed and I was routing for Colin most of the time anyway, the guy she was in love with before being betrothed to the Prince. There also are parts that don’t add anything to the story and were just irrelevant really, like that the Princess is one of seven and each ones is linked to being one of the seven sins. I also found that I had a lot of unanswered questions; Queen Aowyn has a vision at the start of the book, where did the visions come from and why? Why did her maid tell the King about an evil man he could get help from knowing it would end badly? How did the King get out from under the grip of his evil sword?
I felt like this book could have been so much more, the writer is not a bad writer I just felt like the book came across as if she was rushed to finish it. I’m also not good with a book that is hard to understand, and it came across like she sat with a Thesaurus and picked the most complex, unknown words and I spent a lot of time just checking what they actually meant. It’s definitely a unique take on the classic and although it didn’t do it for me, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great read for many others. It is currently free to download The Subtle Beauty on the Kindle so if you’re going to give it a try, this is the perfect time.