A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France—and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.
I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both. I am the Beast.
He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.
Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse....
Shallcross's dense and discomfiting fantasy debut retells "Beauty and the Beast" from the perspective of the Beast: brooding 17th-century French nobleman Julien Courseilles, desperately lonely after centuries under a green-eyed fairy's curse. Julien's efforts to regain his humanity intensify after he spies honey-haired Isabeau de la Noue in her father's dreams. Julien coerces her to his ensorcelled woodland chateau, and compassionate Isabeau agrees to stay one year. When Julien realizes marrying her could break the curse, he bombards her with proposals while secretly spying on her family to find the key to her heart before time is up. The original tale's abusive subtext becomes unpleasant text in this version: men habitually call stalking "courtship," women romanticize Isabeau's abduction, and Isabeau never developed past blond hair and compulsive caretaking is desperately depressed. Julien's occasional moments of self-awareness swiftly yield to selfishness and violence. What results is a skin-crawling, obsessive quest to manipulate love from a kidnapped woman. Shallcross's lush imagery cannot redeem a plot mired in self-pitying, romanticized abuse.
I love the spin this author took on this note-able classic! I’ve read almost every version of this story you could consume and this is for sure one of the best! You won’t regret reading it if you’re a fan of the tale- and that’s coming from a fellow fan of it!
My Beast 💔❤️
I have always loved the beast ever since I was a young lady, but reading this story was pure magic! I am not an avid reader, but I could not wait to finish this book! Isabeau was getting on my nerves when she knew she loved the beast!!! It made me even love the beast even more! Oh why can he not be real!!! Best part for me was this line “My font of sweetness. For her I would have endured another thousand years of solitude.” Thank you Liefe Shallcross! 🤧🌞❤️
I loved every minute of it. Definitely a new favorite!