Tuesday, March 18, 2008


by Donna Jo Napoli

Persian Prince Orasmyn—with a soft spot for roses and no desire to go on hunts—is a good Muslim boy, but when a sacrificial camel is found to be imperfect right before the Feast of Sacrifices, Orasmyn covers it up. For his careless decision, a pari—or fairy—curses him as a Beast, tells him that no woman will ever love him, and announces that the Prince’s own father will kill him tomorrow.
To survive, Orasmyn must leave the palace, but to survive outside of the kingdom’s walls means he must give in to his feline instincts. If he can find a woman who loves him as Beast, Orasmyn might be able to break his curse, but he must search far and wide. What will his wanderings teach him?

Beast was a lot more about the lives of lions than I imagined it would be, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t what I was expecting in a lot of ways. For a large part of the novel the prince tries to live as a lion without becoming entirely Beast, and it took quite a while to get into the parts that are actually in the fairytale, making it almost a Beauty and the Beast prequel. The ending seemed very sudden to me, and there was no indication of how Orasmyn knew he had to find his Belle to be changed back into a human.

This is the first book I’ve read for Enna Isilee’s Twisted Fairy Tale Challenge.


  1. Sounds like an interesting book but not quite what you were expecting. It's a shame when the end seems to happen too quickly.

  2. Wow - looks...intriguing (?) I'm currently reading a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (and it happens to be for the same reading challenge). ;)

  3. I have a couple of Napoli's books on my list for this challenge. I hope I like them better than you did this one.

  4. Framed - I've read several others by Napoli and liked them a lot more. Hopefully you'll enjoy them, too!

  5. I found Beast intriguing when I read it. It was different than expected, but that often is a good thing. What I liked about it is the in depth struggle of the beast's human and animal natures. For me, it answers questions about the fairy tale, instead of retelling it.


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