New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won’t soon be able to forget.
Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones—and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
Happy book birthday to Hunted! This is going to be an interesting review to try and write without giving away any spoilers, but here goes. Hunted is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that is just so creative. Certain elements of the story were pretty much as they are in the fairy tale we all know and love, but some elements were changed to add richness and depth. Even more elements were created to wrap the story into a whole new world (see what I did there?!?) that was powerful, magical, and unique. This story had its own skin around it, and I am really impressed with how Meagan Spooner did that. It made the story more realistic, honestly. Because, as one of the characters tells Beauty towards the end, things do not just have one nature. Okay, let me pull a quote that might help that comment make more sense:
"The world of men is so strange. For you all things have one nature. Winter is cold. Death is a tragedy. But even in the world of men, this is not true. Your warmest memories are of winter, and the times spent near hearth and home. For the sick and the old death can be gift. And yet you insist on seeing only the face of things. I am a woman. I am a dragon. I am these things all the time, and I am never one but not the other."
With this story, there is always the question of Stockholm syndrome, and I love that Meagan actually addressed this question head on in the story. Because for this story to work, we need to believe that the Beauty was not struggling with this condition. Yeva was not. She sees the Beast for what he is and what he did: he treated her wrongly. But she also treated him wrongly. For this story to work, we need to believe that there is a HEA of two equals, and here there is. Yeva and the Beast are the same in a way, in an important way, that becomes clear by the end of the novel.
This was truly an enjoyable read, and I suggest you pick it up if you can!