Genre: YA Fantasy
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
Of Beast and Beauty was, in two simple words, utterly beautiful. In fact, I am not sure you should even read this review, just go and obtain this story. I don’t care how, just do it! (I mean, I would totally understand if you stole it from the library and midnight. I would do the same!) You’re still here? Darn. Well, I guess I will have to convince you further! Read on, my friends!
Isra is the blind Queen of a messed-up city, that thrives on their hatred of the Monstrous and the sacrifice of queens to the roses. Gem is one of the Monstrous, and he just want to keep his tribe members from starving, no thanks to the Smooth Skins. The two start as bitter enemies. I thought that both of these characters were breathtakingly created. They are no where near your average hero and heroine. Trust Me.
The writing is spectacular. For example, the first page starts off describing an old secret, a girl, and a darkness that is a big part of the book, and her use of language pulled me into the mystery of the secret, the darkness, and the girl. My emotions were running high, even from the beginning. The desperation of both Gem (to save his tribe) and Isra (to rule a kingdom... with her own secret) ran through me, along with the little pricks of hope or happiness the author presents us. Also, the ending was perfection. *sigh* The last two page were, yes I am going to use the two words again, utterly beautiful.
Finally, I must mention the rose garden. Ahh, how this garden intrigued me. The bloodthirsty roses enchanted me and I love how the flowers play such a big part in the story. Now, before I leave, I must ask you a question. Who is Beauty and who is the Beast in this novel? Think on it as you read this novel.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!