Published: October 2011
The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella--Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant--vows to escape the usual pitfalls.
Anxious to avoid the Traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf--who turns out to be a cursed nobleman Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh--when he isn't howling at the moon.
Breaking spells is never easy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he's only an occasional werewolf) and a little godmotherly interference might just be able to bring about a happy ending....
Beauty and the Werewolf is the 6th book in Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series. Each book in the series is based on a fairytale, and in this case, obviously, the fairytale is Beauty and the Beast - my favourite.
Ms Lackey has crafted a delightful fantasy with a feisty Beauty and a sweet and lovable Beast, well most of the time, anyway. What makes this tale different is the addition of an extra antagonist, who has more sides to him than can be counted and who I found myself loving and hating in equal measure.
What I particularly enjoyed about this version of the story are the nods to Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. Beauty has a stepmother and two stepsisters and goes to visit Granny in the woods wearing her red cape. So much fun! Then there are the magic mirrors and mysterious servants in the mirror, a la Snow White. And don't forget the invisible servants! Add in a pinch of Tradition and Ms Lackey takes the traditional tale and twists it this way and that to produce an entrancing story that I finished in one day and loved every minute of.
Fairytale lovers, if you haven't yet encountered Ms Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms, then give yourself a treat and search them out. They shouldn't be too hard to find.
1.The Fairy Godmother
2. One Good Knight
3. Fortune's Fool
4. The Snow Queen
5. The Sleeping Beauty
6. Beauty and the Werewolf