Book Review: Beauty – Sarah Pinborough

Book Rating : 4 stars

I loved Beauty! An imaginative retelling of multiple fairytales, anyone who enjoyed the TV series Once Upon a Time would love this book.

The story traverses the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the Huntsman, and Prince Charming.

Prince Charming’s parents, the king and queen, have decided their spoiled son needs an adventure to get him out into the world and away from his debauchery.

Of course, they don’t really want him out in the world alone, so they call upon the Huntsman to go with their son and keep him safe.

On the way, Prince Charming and the Huntsman find a cabin in the woods and hear screaming. Rushing inside, they see a large gray wolf inside attacking a cabinet, and before either could react, Little Red Riding Hood has shot an arrow through the wolf and saved her grandmother, who was in the cabinet.

Through Grandma’s encouragement, Little Red goes along with Prince Charming and Huntsman to a kingdom that’s been lost to history. She says she knows of a place in the woods that’s odd, and the three of them travel to it.

After some difficulty, they enter the kingdom and find it asleep…for almost 100 years. As they explore the kingdom and the castle, they find Sleeping Beauty fast asleep…and bleeding to death.

True love’s kiss brings her back from near death, and the story begins its twisty way through other fairytale characters.

What I loved about Beauty were the character twists – not just in how they meet but in who they are.

Rumpelstiltskin, who I expected to be a villain was rather likable. Rapunzel wasn’t a damsel in distress but a maiden who got away from the witch who put her in the tower. Sleeping Beauty isn’t all that meets the eye, and the Beast…well, the Beast is beautiful.

I didn’t realize this book was the last of a trilogy, but I found I could follow it without confusion. I enjoyed it so much, I ordered the previous books, and am looking forward to devouring all of them!

Favorite quotes from Beauty:

“We all have our dark lusts. We should enjoy them.” 

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