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The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince Hardcover – July 22, 2014


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The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince + Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen + Maleficent
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Press (July 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423159128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423159124
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—Many children grow up with some familiarity with the story of Beauty and the Beast, particularly the Walt Disney version. Readers often admire the beautiful and smart Belle, a devoted daughter and booklover, who is as lovely on the inside as the outside. That she could come to love such a horrific-looking and reclusive creature is testament to her kind nature. And yet, readers know so little of this mysterious Beast and of the spell that caused him to become an outcast within his own kingdom. In this spin-off from Disney's retelling of the old tale, Valentino does her best to expand upon the Beast's side of things: What was it that transformed the handsome and charming Prince into a Beast? Gaston plays a big role in this story, as does a competing love interest of both male characters, Tulip. Belle doesn't appear until toward the end, as this book operates as a prelude to the film. Some new characters add interest, such as the Odd Sisters, a trio of witches spurred by a broken heart and a zeal for revenge. As interesting as that premise is, the book is weighted down by clunky writing, shallow character development, a lack of depth and nuance. It will likely appeal to only the most die-hard fans of the Disney film.—Meg Allison, The Moretown School, VT

About the Author

Serena Valentino is known for her groundbreaking work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales published by SLG Publishing. Her first novel, Fairest of All, is a fresh take on the story of Disney's Snow White from the perspective of the film's villain, the Wicked Queen.

Customer Reviews

It's not a good retelling of any version of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
October15
I have never ever returned a book on my life but I'll make sure I do with this one... What a joke.
Amanda Freidel
Beyond that, the entire story seem very rushed, especially the climax at the end of the book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I actually loved the book. It was a very dark look into The Beast early tortured life. I thought it was genius that in this book The Beast didn't just turned INTO the beast like in the movie. It was gradually he morphed into the Beast noticing little menacing things in his appearance changing the darker his heart got. I also loved how everyone who entered the castle saw the CURSE in a different view as in Belle could talk to the enchanted servants but the Beast couldn't & was horrified that as his servants slowly disappeared theses inanimate objects would appear as somewhat haunted or possessed house hold objects that had the voices of his once dear servants but every time he came around to see them they'd be regular inanimate house hold objects again. It was a very dark twist that I loved along with Gaston being his childhood best friend and how they slowly forgot each due to the curses power.

The only 2 thing that could've been fixed is the "Abrupt Ending", I would of loved to see The Beast learn through Belle what became of the servants instead of at the end he's just happy to see them again when the curses lifted.

But other than those two things I love this Darker Retelling of Disney's Beauty & The Beast. This book was a lot better than the movie Maleficent where they made "Disney Best Villain" a hero at the end. Anyway when the make the Live Action Beauty & The Beast I hope they use some of the Dark elements of this book in the movie. Long LIVE DARK DISNEY.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Lang on August 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this story. It showed how the Beast/Prince learned what true love was and wasn't. Granted Belle wasn't a major character in the book and there wasn't detail about how he won her affection, but I except that's because there's a good chance that we've seen the movie or read other stories. The focus of this story was a previous relationship, and offered details into how the curse changed the prince and the castle over time. Very enjoyable.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Freidel on August 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I happen to stumble upon the book today when I was at Disney World. I read Fairest of Them All and from what I remember, I liked it and was touched at the ending... (Now, I need to go back and reread that one to make sure my memory isn't playing tricks on me). So, of course when I saw there was another one out, I scooped it up and bought it. I am not joking when I say this. I read this in two hours, praying that it would eventually get better.... That was a pipe dream.
Please don't get me wrong, the concept behind it is good. But that is where it stops.
The writing is terrible. Seriously, the reference Buttchinland is used.
The fact that modern day terminology and phrases are used in a period piece drove me up a wall.
The character development is disastrous. More attention was put into what the characters look like than who they actually are and their back stories.
The Prince/ Beast (who never actually receives a name) is a downright despicable human being who gets the fairy tale ending. I was almost hopefully Belle would find out all the terrible things he had done and walk away.
You are left feeling completely satisfied at the end (rushed much, by the way?) and wondering if this was just the first draft for this book.
I have never ever returned a book on my life but I'll make sure I do with this one...
What a joke.
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Format: Hardcover
It honestly just was not a very well written book. The characters weren't fleshed out enough, and I agree with another reviewer who states that the entire book builds the Beast up to be such a horrific human being that his redemption falls short. I couldn't understand why the book didn't use characters names either. Why keep calling the prince "Prince" or Princess Tulips nanny "Nanny". I'm sure they both have names that could have been used, and I'm confident as a reader that I would have been able to keep up with them. There were also weird tie ins to Ursula and the Evil Queen that felt forced and unnecessary.

Overall, in hindsight, the book is not one I would ever purchase. Borrow it from the library to see if you enjoy it first.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh, my. First off, I have to start by saying that I absolutely love (as in want to marry) the Disney film 'Beauty and the Beast' (seriously, can anything be better than that wolf scene?) I also loved Serena Valentino's interpretation of the Evil Queen in her book 'Fairest of All'. Naturally, reading this book was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the book didn't seem to have brains, either. While 'Fairest' heightened the story of Snow White and really made the Queen a more likeable (and understandable) character, 'Beast' muddled the story. It was obvious the book was rushed, and characters were not as fleshed out as they could have been. Valentino could have done a lot more with the Prince's backstory, but instead she tried to give him another "love" interest, made Gaston his hunting buddy (can you believe that?) and incorporated those three witches from 'Fairest' into the book. I don't entirely think this is her fault, however. I can practically hear her editor and publisher saying, "hurry up! Finish the book! We've got to get it out!" while reading each page, and unfortunately, the muddled plot shows. If you're a huge fan of 'Beauty and the Beast' like I am, then just watch the movie. Don't give yourself a headache trying to figure out how this backstory is possible.
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