Where to start? Well, I’ll begin by saying this will be a spoiler-free review. That’s nice, right?!
First, I have to share the book and cover. It’s beautiful, a lovely reflection of the quirky Beauty and the Beast retelling that lies within.
Beast of the Night is a lovely retelling of Beauty and the Beast with just enough of the familiar to quickly immerse you in the story and so much different to keep you interested in where all the turns and twists will take you.
YA fantasy fiction from a Christian author, Beast of the Night is about Rosenrot, a girl with a stump for an arm, a chip on her shoulder, and a heart of gold. The story begins in a little village where she discovers her father has run off, leaving her responsible for all his debts. Sold into indentured servitude, Rosen ends up in the last place she’d ever want to be.
Enter Lord Varick, the cursed, BEAUTIFUL beast and his odd assortment of mythical creature friends who’ve served his family for centuries. A curse is familiar, but his is something totally new in this retelling. I think he’s my favorite character in the whole story, and I loved seeing him grow, fearing to love and longing for it at the same time. But his curse stands between him and his ability to do so.
As with the Beauty and the Beast, it’s up to Rosenrot to discover how to break the curse and save the man she loves. But while that’s similar, very little else is in this adventurous sweet romance with a mysterious twist!
Rosenrot and Varick’s animosity turns to friendship and grows so subtly and so nicely, it reminds me a little of the excellent way Diana Wynn Jones leads us through the romance of Howl’s Moving Castle (one of my favorite books!). I’d recommend Beast of the Night to anyone who enjoys YA reads, fairytale retellings, sweet romance, fantasy and adventure. There are some mature themes (nothing untoward), so I’d not suggest the book for younger readers, especially anyone under around 13.
All the Places to Find Beast of the Night
E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.
She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.
A one-armed, practical girl. A rude lord hiding a curse. A dark secret with the town’s fate hanging in the balance.
A Beauty and the Beast retelling with an Austrian twist and a new breed of curse.
When Rosen moves to Freudendorf—a secluded town in the Alps—with her dad, he vanishes on her and the debt collectors come to call: taking her into slave labor. As if that wasn’t bad enough, just when all her hopes and dreams for a normal life are ruined, a frail zombie-like butler purchases her: taking her to serve Lord Varick, who currently resides in the forbidden castle near the salt mines, where the Beast of the Night is said to roam.
Varick is handsome, with an attitude that’s the exact opposite. The servants aren’t human, and the castle itself is an ugly wreck. But if Rosen cannot solve the dark secret spreading beneath Freudendorf, and the curse holding Varick’s cold heart, then both they and the town will fall prey to a waiting evil—and worse, even lose their memory of it.