Beast of Talesend
By: Kyle Robert Schultz
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kyle for my author interview series (coming Friday!) and, being the lover of fairytale retellings that I am, when I found out he had written a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I simply couldn’t resist picking it up.
- Snappy Dialogue: One of my favorite elements of this book was how clever and witty all of the characters were. They each have their own voice, of course, but the inclusion of gleefully sarcastic banter between them allows the characters to connect with one another in a way that feels both genuine and engaging.
- Twist on Snow White: I can’t say too much without giving it away but there is a particular section of this book that introduces a new mythology behind the Evil Queen of Snow White that is hands down my favorite fairytale Easter egg in this book. I would love to see it expounded upon as the series continues.
- Cordelia: Cordelia is the main female protagonist in this story, and she is tied for my favorite character simply because she is far from the perfect, prim and proper princess you usually see in such retellings. She is spunky, impulsive, sassy, and has just enough naivety in her to make the perfect counterpart for serious and cynical Nick. Their dynamic together is so fun and playful.
- Name Dropping: Here are just a couple examples: places such as Camelot are mentioned throughout the novel to enhance the fairytale atmosphere, and when characters speak French, its simply called a different name. This technique did not add to the atmosphere of the story for me, and sometimes even pulled me out of the narrative, especially the Camelot example in particular because the medieval time period of King Author did not match the early 1900’s atmosphere of the rest of the book.
- Too Simplistic for the Age: My biggest complaint about this book is I feel like, though I can’t remember off the top of my head who was the target audience, it just read too simplistic. Not the writing style itself, but the challenges presented to the characters. Had they been younger, the amount of challenges they faced over the course of the book would’ve been perfect. Since they are in their mid-to-late twenties though, I just felt like everything was a little too easy to solve. I wish this book had been longer with a few more wrenches thrown in to really give the plot and characters the time they deserved.
Overall Rating 4/5 stars. Recommended for fairytale retelling fans in the mood for a quick, fun read.
Recommendation: I couldn’t find anything quite witty enough to measure up to this book, but if you have a recommendation, feel free to let me know in the comments!
Keep an eye out for Kyle’s author interview on Friday where he spills some behind the scenes secrets and stories about Beast of Talesend!
As always, keep making magic, word weavers!