Series: Five Hundred Kingdoms #6
Published by LUNA on October 18, 2011
Number of Pages: 416
Genres: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Purchase: At Amazon
When a beauty must battle some beasts before she rescues her prince...
The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella -- Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant -- vows to escape the usual pitfalls.
Anxious to avoid the traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf -- who turns out to be a cursed nobleman. Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh -- when he isn't howling at the moon.
Bella knows all to well that breaking spells is never easy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he's only an occasional werewolf) and a little Godmotherly interference might just be able to bring about a happy ending...
The ‘bad guy’ was fairly obvious. The hero/love interest a sweet and bumbling boy who was very earnest and a bit shy at times. And for whom there really isn’t all that much character development. But Bella was worth enough to me to keep reading. I loved how she wasn’t some shrinking flower of a girl. She took as much charge of herself and her destiny as she was able to. She was funny and smart.
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.