Beauty and the Werewolf
As the name suggests, this is a sort of rewrite of the familiar fairytale: Beauty and the Beast. However, Lackey takes it and puts her own twist on the tale (as you would expect). Isabella has two stepsisters and a lazy step mother who you would expect to fit the story of Cinderella. Instead, Isabella finds herself bitten by a huge wolf. With a curse instead of being a true werebeast, Isabella may be saved from transforming every month, but will she be able to save the man she’s coming to respect?
It’s probably not obvious from this blog yet, but I’m absolutely obsessed with Mercedes Lackey. If I had to choose a fantasy author who was my favourite ever, Lackey would be it. This book ‘Beauty and the Werewolf’ is the 6th novel in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, and I pounced on the hard copy version at my local library. It has been preordered from The Book Depository though, and I can’t wait to have my own copy on my shelf.
I found the ending of this story very predictable, and the story itself quite predictable as well. Isabella is characterised nicely, and the reader does feel some empathy with her plight. Not too much though, as she seems to have things well in hand. Eric is a semi-convincing Woodsman, and the wizard acceptable. I just wasn’t blown away like I was for the rest of the novels in the series – not enough suspense and unexpected twists I suppose.
This novel of the Five Hundred Kingdoms lacks the sexual content which some of the other novels have, so I would confidently recommend it to older teenagers, as well as adults. I don’t think it’s necessary to read the novels in the story in order, but if you get the chance, it is probably better to read ‘The Fairy Godmother’ first.