Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review: Hunted

By Meagan Spooner
Published: March 14, 2017

Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones--and in her blood. 

Though Yeva grew up with the city's highest aristocrats, far from her father's old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who's ever come close to discovering them.

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 only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

My review:

This creative retelling of Beauty and the Beast incorporates other folktales like that of the firebird and the setting is an alternate fantasy version of Russia. It features a heroine that is skilled in hunting and prefers spending time outdoors rather than life at court. Yeva doesn't fit in at court though she has captured the eye of Solmir, a future baron. Her oldest sister is engaged but her middle sister is in love with Solmir herself though she knows her injured foot will likely not lead to any suitors offering for her hand. Their father had given up the life of a hunter that he loved for the sake of their mother and instead he became a successful merchant. Unfortunately disaster happens when their caravans are attacked and they lose everything. While her father heads back to the woods to make money by trapping and hunting, Yeva looks after her sisters but when he fails to return one day, she decides to go after him. 

The Beast is interested in Yeva because he sees her gifts in hunting as his ticket to freedom. He takes her prisoner and forces her to practice her hunting skills. She hates him and secretly plans to kill him when given the chance. Gradually she realizes that he is under an enchantment and cannot tell her why he needs her skills or what he needs her to hunt. All Yeva cares about is getting back to her family but as she explores the castle she starts to see that there is more to her situation and more to the Beast than she previously thought.

The romance is very gradual because of some major obstacles and the fact that Yeva understandably hates the Beast for much of the book. He is initially more beast than man but as they spend time together he starts to become more humanized. There are no enchanted singing tea pots, etc. like in the Disney version though the Beast has some magical abilities from the curse. 

The different take on a familiar fairy tale is interesting. The romance was not very heavy which is good. Yeva doesn't immediately fall in love with the Beast which makes complete sense under the circumstances. I liked Yeva and her strength and determination to survive and get back to her sisters. She is devoted to them and they are devoted to her as well. I also liked how both Yeva and the Beast had to learn some important lessons about themselves. In the Disney version, Belle is pretty much perfect as is and it is only the Beast that needs to make changes in his life. There are some other differences I appreciated as well. Overall I enjoyed this retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I think fans of fairy tales retold would like it too.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I'm SO glad you enjoyed this one, Christina! I've been really looking forward to it because I enjoyed the author's Starbound trilogy. I'm glad that it is different from the usual fairy tale retelling and I don't mind that the romance slowly builds. I thought it built too quickly in the Disney version.

  2. Me too! I enjoyed it as well. I have struggled with retellings in the past, but this one didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the incorporation of Russian folklore; it was a nice touch! I also liked how the romance was gradual. It definitely worked for me. Great review, Christina!

  3. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Christina. I've been curious about it, although sometimes I can be very picky about re-tellings. It sounds like this draws from the original Beauty and the Beast story as well as adding in other folklore.


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