Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones and in her blood.
She knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
But Yeva’s grown up far from her father’s old lodge, raised to be part of the city’s highest caste of artistocrats. Still, she’s never forgotten the feel of a bow in her hands, and she’s spent a lifetime longing for the freedom of the hunt.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters 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.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s heard about only in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation.
Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast
Review by Sarah McDuling
I can never get enough of Beauty and the Beast. I don't know what it is about that fairytale. Maybe it's because I grew up with the Disney cartoon version and idolised Belle for being a bookworm (like me!) with brown hair (like me!) who gets to hang out in an enchanted castle full of talking furniture (not so much like me but whatever). The point is, I've always had a soft spot for this particular fairytale, so whenever I hear about a new retelling of it, I automatically add it to my wish list. And when that retelling happens to be by one of the authors of The Starbound Trilogy, it's EVEN BETTER!
I really cannot express how much I adored this book, or how quickly I devoured it. I have read it twice since I got my hands on a copy and I know there will be many rereads in my future. Hunted is a perfect Beauty and the Beast retelling that stays fairly close to the familiar story whilst also cleverly incorporating elements of Russian folklore.
With the release of the live action Disney film this month, there's been a lot of discussion about Beauty and the Beast and whether or not it's an inherently anti-feminist story. As much as I love the traditional fairytale, it's true that it does contain some disturbing themes (Stockholm syndrome, anyone?). It can also be argued that the archetypal "beauty" is something of a passive damsel in distress. I'm delighted to say that Hunted delivers an incredibly strong and relatable heroine who pretty much embodies feminist ideals, and features a slow-burning and eminently satisfying romance that never once crosses the line into Stockholm syndrome territory.
The beauty of this book is Yeva, a kickass hunter with a brave heart and an iron will. Yeva rocks! I felt her rage and her heartbreak, suffered through every hardship, and celebrated every triumph right alongside her. The descriptions of the stark, white, winter forest transported me into another world. I really felt as though the cold was seeping into my bones.
Hunted is definitely one of my favourite Beauty and the Beast retellings, and as I have read approximately one zillion of them please understand that I do not say this lightly! It's the perfect read for all the fairytale aficionados out there (hello my people!), as well as fans of authors like Robin McKinley, Juliet Marillier, Naomi Novik and Kate Forsyth.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York State with a degree in playwriting. She’s traveled all over the world, to places such as Egypt, Australia, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galápagos Islands, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes. She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.
She’s the coauthor of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as this “Beauty and the Beast” retelling. In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.
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Comments about Hunted:
I love Disney's beauty and the beast but would definitely watch this if they made a movie out of it too. A different take on the traditional story with relatable characters and pages that draw you in so you can't stop reading. A good read for all ages. Adults would like it as much as teens.
"Unlike the cardboard heroes of fairytales, Yeva is a very human girl who must discover the meaning of the deep yearning that has always been within her. The author's depictions will keep the reader spellbound."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review)
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
For Ages: 13+ years old
For Grades: 10 - 12
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st April 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 13.6 x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.31