The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince

( 3 )

Overview

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp—like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

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Beast Within, The

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Overview

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp—like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Many are familiar with the tale of the handsome prince cursed to languish within a beast’s body until the spell can be broken by true love’s kiss. But how did he come to be cursed? The noble, arrogant prince falls in love with the beautiful Circe with her soft blue eyes, comely face and silvery diaphanous gown and plans a grand wedding. Gaston envious of the prince’s good fortune, tells the Prince that Circe is a mere farmer’s daughter and when he sees for himself the girl up to her knees mucking out the pig stalls, he is enraged and breaks the engagement. Circe’s three sisters (witches all) cast the punishing spell that is mitigated by Circe with the caveat that true love’s kiss can break the spell. As days pass and the Prince becomes more grotesque he hides within his castle angry and filled with despair. It is not until he looks deep within himself that he dares to think beyond his vanity and begins the journey that will return him to his human form. This back story for the Beast relies on the Disney variation and so there is jealous Gaston, a housekeeper, Mrs. Potts and faithful servants, Lumiere and Cogsworth and of course, the beautiful Belle. Valentino introduces a Princess Tulip and provides an engaging tale of love lost, anger and revenge, and the revelation that compassion and honesty can transform the beast within and beauty is more than exterior quality. The straightforward tale has drama, moments of levity, and its gentle love story will appeal to younger adolescents. Not a first purchase but certainly a worthy addition for readers who like fairy tale prequels and a little romance. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey; Ages 12 to 14.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-04
A retelling of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, told from the Beast’s perspective.The story opens as the Beast contemplates whether Belle—recently made a prisoner in his castle—will ever come to love him. The timeline then moves backward to the days when the Beast was a human prince, and so begins a story that is predictable—when it isn’t entirely ridiculous—and filled with characters as flat as the pages they’re written on. As a human prince, the Beast spurns the love of Circe, who turn out to be the younger sister of the “odd sisters,” witches whose behavior is so nonsensical it’s a wonder they stop cackling long enough to curse him. Though the pre-Beast Prince certainly deserves his curse, whether any actual human being could contain the degree of vanity, selfishness and conceit the Prince exhibits is questionable. One interesting curveball comes in the presentation of the Prince and Gaston (the vain sportsman romantically interested in Belle) as childhood best friends. However, the blandness of the characters negates anything interesting that might have sprung from this twist, which is not nearly enough to save the story as a whole.With clunky writing, an uninspired plot and unbelievably one-dimensional characters (including villains so absurd no one would fear them), this spinoff effort is disappointing at best. (Fantasy. 12-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423159124
  • Publisher: Disney Press
  • Publication date: 7/22/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 83,457
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Serena Valentino is known for her groundbreaking work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales published by SLG Publishing. Her first novel, Fairest of All, is a fresh take on the story of Disney's Snow White from the perspective of the film's villain, the Wicked Queen.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2014

    Amazing amazing book! She tied in other Disney tales which makes

    Amazing amazing book! She tied in other Disney tales which makes me think that maybe she will tie in all the stories to make one big series. Hopefully she does because I love how she explains the past of the villains trying to explain what they became. Truly magnificent. I look forward to an Ursula , Lady Tremaine, Jafar or any other story from this author because revamped Disney tales are amazing! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    Not worth it, even if you are a hardcore fan.  While I'm all for

    Not worth it, even if you are a hardcore fan.  While I'm all for novel to go alone with the timeless Disney's Beauty and the Beast, this book failed to deliver any entertainment or satisfaction.  There are many flaws, but the ones I couldn't stand the most about this story was the made up characters (the three pointless witches) taking credit for EVERY single plot point in the original movie.  For example, remember part in the movie where the Beast asks Belle if she is happy and she replies she misses her father?  Well according to this book these threeevil witches are the ones responsible for making Belle miss her father due to their witchy powers they constantly use to screw over the Beast because, ya know, they actually do need to interfere for that to happen!  Stupid stuff like that was happing constantly along with all these non-clever references and tie-ins with other Disney fairy tales and plot points.  Even if you adore Beauty and the Beast, I strongly recommend leaving this one behind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    There are few books I've started that I couldn't finish reading

    There are few books I've started that I couldn't finish reading but this one of them.  I tried ignoring the blatant inconsistencies with the Beauty and the Beast movie and within the book itself.  Then the author insults me with calling something Buttchinland;  I'm not sure if this is meant to be some sort of clever reference to Gaston from the movie but it falls short as nothing but shoddy effort and distasteful.  It feels like the author put no effort into creating a coherent story and instead is just throwing random references in from the movie and shoving this rubbish upon the reader.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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