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Beauty and the Werewolf (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 6) Hardcover – October 18, 2011
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"Lackey's satisfying fairy tale will captivate fantasy readers with its well-imagined world and romance fans, who will relish the growing relationship and sexy scenes."
-Booklist on The Fairy Godmother
"Fans of Lackey's Valdemar series as well as general fantasy enthusiasts should enjoy this classic fairy tale with a pair of proactive, resourceful heroes."
-Library Journal on Fortune's Fool
"[P]lenty of twists and laughs...most of the fun comes from finding all the fairy tale in-jokes peppering the pages.
-Publishers Weekly on The Sleeping Beauty
"A delightful fairy tale revamp. Lackey ensures that familiar stories are turned on their ear with amusing results. Appealing characters faced with challenging circumstances keep the plot lively. You don't want to mess with godmothers!"
- RT Book Reviews on The Snow Queen --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey has written over one hundred titles and has no plans to slow down. Known best for her tales of Valdemar and The Five Hundred Kingdoms, she's also a prolific lyricist and records her own music.
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Concrete details make the story feel rooted in reality despite the thoroughly fantastical goings-on; and for once a fantasy story points up the inconveniences of invisible servants! Lackey blends several fairy tales, from Red Riding Hood to Beauty and the Beast, seamlessly and without a hiccup.
Full of quirky moments of humor as well as poignant moments when you completely sympathize with the characters - even the villain! - this is a great read - no, a MUST read - for any fan of Lackey, or indeed any fan of light fantasy.
The invisible servants were something I’ve seen before, but not done in this way. I was fairly sure I knew who was to blame for them, but had no idea exactly how they had been created. I’ve said before that Godmother Elena is my favorite Godmother in this series. And she appeared in this book, which certainly helped me like it more. Though she was not a central character as she has been in other books.
I’ve seen others complain that Bella was a little TOO perfect, and Eric was too obvious. Yes, that’s true. However that’s also a fairly typical characterization in fairytales. And as this is a fairytale retelling, that should have been at least somewhat expected.
I liked how Bella could have ended up a Cinderella, but did not because she was kind to her step-sisters. Treated them like actual sisters, and with the exception of not turning the household over to her step-mother’s running, she was good to her step-mother as well. There were also elements of Little Red Ridinghood in the book, to mix with the Beauty and the Beast and other bits and pieces of fairytales.
If you like fairytale retellings, I would highly recommend reading this series and this book.
(cross-posted to my blog)
Problems come when Bella is on a visit to Granny to learn some magic. She has an encounter with the Gamekeeper of the local duchy and is bitten by a werewolf. The werewolf happens to be Duke Sebastian who is under a curse to be a werewolf three nights a month. After she is bitten, she is shipped off by the king to stay with Sebastian until it is determined if she will become a werewolf herself.
Bella is both angry and frightened to have her life so disrupted. But Bella isn't anyone's idea of a victim. She quickly takes charge of her life. She gets involved in practicing her magic by making ointments, liniments and various other potions in Sebastian's long neglected still room. She also is befriended by Sebastian's invisible servants and learns more about them then Sebastian knows.
Together with Godmother Elena and the Granny Bella and Sebastian try to learn who placed the curse on him and how they can break of modify it within the bounds of The Tradition. Meanwhile, Bella has to be on the lookout for The Tradition's trying to fit her into an existing story. She has to be careful that she isn't sucked into a relationship she doesn't want with Eric, the Gamekeeper, or with Sebastian. Eric is Sebastian's bastard brother who has been guarding and protecting him since he was struck with the curse.
I especially liked Bella's character. She was managing but still kind. She was also bright and loyal. She also had quite a snarky sense of humor and a sharp tongue.
This was a fun story. I recommend it to those who love non-traditional fairy tales and who want heroines who are not just sitting around waiting to be rescued by a passing prince.