Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.
They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.
In this compelling reimagining of “Beauty and the Beast,” Jensen integrates a new plot thread in the form of a third protagonist into the familiar fairy tale…Haunting language and lush descriptions (“the petals are long-dead; they have lost their bright color and velvety texture and curled into crisp, dry cinders…”) engage the senses, making this a memorable, worthy addition to the canon of “Beauty and the Beast” retellings. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A fresh retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” with an interesting and meaningful plot twist. —Kirkus Reviews
The prose, characterization, and plot development serve the story well and could provide enjoyably lush escapism for a teen reader. —BayViews