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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Beauty In The Beast is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and romance subgenres. It is intended for the general reading audience and was penned by author Emily-Jane Hills Orford. As the title suggests, this concise and enticing novel takes us on a journey where the traditional fairytale of Beauty and the Beast has been reimagined with some edgy and dangerous new twists. Our protagonist, Priya, is fascinated by the terrifying part-beasts that live at Castle Mutasim and wants to know if there is a sinister origin behind their strange ways. Most fascinating of all is Amell, a figure whose path has crossed hers before, though the revelations as to how will shock her to her core.
I generally always enjoy fairytale retellings of old classics, particularly when the author takes a few new spins, but leaves a lot of the nostalgia in place. Author Emily-Jane Hills Orford has achieved a really enjoyable balance of the two here in this fast-paced story, with the brooding atmosphere of the looming castle and the initial premise largely recognizable. The triumph for me personally was in the depth of character development and emotional exploration that this novel has, especially in its central pairing. I felt like I understood much more about Priya and Amell than I was expecting to, and Priya was a powerful and headstrong protagonist who was active and instrumental to the story. Overall, Beauty In The Beast is sure to captivate readers who enjoy a character-driven tale that can easily be devoured in a single cozy afternoon.