Title: Of Beast and Beauty
Author: Stacey Jay
Date of Publication: July 23rd, 2013
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
This one was beautifully written. I especially liked the story that Gem tells to Isra about the star. One thing I couldn’t visualize exactly is how Gem looked. It said he had scales sort of like snake scales, so I’m thinking sort of like Creature from the Black Lagoon?
Anyway, I thought the concept was pretty cool. I have read a lot of Beauty and the Beast retellings, but I really liked this one! Isra is blind and believes herself to be hideous because she doesn’t look like anyone else, or so she thinks.
Gem has a reason to hate the smooth skins at first, hate her. But as he gets to know Isra, he comes to see how much he likes her. The story is just really gorgeous. The ending to this book was one of the most beautiful I have ever read!
How does this book sound to you?