Sixteen year old Benella is concerned with two things–avoiding the two village boys who torment her and scrounging for food to help feed her family. Unfortunately, the best wild fruit and vegetables are near the walls of the estate, a dark misty place inhabited by an unforgiving beast.
When her tormentors lock her behind the massive gates, Benella knows her fate is sealed. Yet, the fate isn’t one she expects. Her encounter with the beast starts a bizarre cycle of bargaining for her freedom, a freedom the beast seems determined to see her lose.
A classic fairy tale with a new twist, the Beauty and the Beast saga begins with Depravity.
Intended for adult readers only due to sexual situations, violence (attempted rape), and moderate language.
A fun interpretation!
A fun interpretation!
When I saw the cover of this book I was immediately intrigued. From the font choice to the mystery background with ominous trees and a large estate I had a good feeling this book was going to be full of beautiful, dark mystery. I will say that I was surprised at how young the girl is on the cover. This book is so much like Beauty and the Beast and yet so different at the same time. I didn’t feel like I was just reading the same old story. It was a beautiful, creative retelling which took me as a reader into the setting based on the vivid detail. It is similar because there is a young girl who is hopefully set to break a curse on a vain man and his estate with a bit of magic involved. Yet, this retelling is darker and has adult situations. There is a much heavier focus on Benella’s family (father and two sisters) compared to the original Beauty and the Beast. This book was so easy for me to gobble up. I was visiting family during the time I was reading it and I stole moments in the morning, between spending time with them, and late at night. It may have taken me a day to finish because I had to steal moments to read. I was hooked, am hooked, and can’t wait to finish the entire series and move on to more of M.J. Haag’s books. There were no elements in the writing I found distracting. This book was so very well-written and was an amazing change of pace from some of the other books I have read recently. I love when I can’t find one thing wrong with the writing. The storyline was well-thought out and all subplots were addressed appropriately. I found not one grammatical error. OH WHAT BLISS! I really enjoyed how realistic the non-magical references were in this book. The story was so incredibly down to earth. I loved how as a reader I really could feel the struggle Benella’s family had in making ends meet. There are so many different characters with their individual struggles, but for each one it was clear the setting was a difficult one. Without giving too much away, I really appreciated seeing the struggle of only being able to afford two different pairs of clothes and sometimes go without eating. The book took it to another level by adding in characters who take advantage of the struggles of others. All around, the struggles were so beautiful written. I have not read any other M.J. Haag or Mellisa Haag. However, she has earned a spot near the top of my list of favorite authors. Her writing is amazing and I am excited to finish this series and start The Tales of Cinder. And more and more and more!
Best Retelling I Have Read Yet!!!!
I have read this whole series multiple times and it is one of the best retellings of the original fairy tale I have come across! It honestly reminds me so much of Cupid and Psyche too which just made me love Benella so much!
The main character is not passive. She is very strong and intelligent it made me excited. She by no means meets with Stockholm either which makes me very happy for the whole story!
Melissa you did an excellent job!