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?
As you might be noticing, I’m doing a Beauty and the Beast themed binge! Reading all the Beauty and the Beast inspired tales or retellings that I have in my TBR pile! The Beast Within by Serena Valentino was one of them! I actually have her whole trilogy in my pile and though this is the second book of it, I figured it should be okay to read them out of order. And based on what I read, I feel like that was right! Though there were definite nudges about what the next tale would be!
So we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast. A cruel, selfish, and unkind prince was cursed along with his entire castle to remain a beast until he could find true love and have her love him in return. The story starts out with the Beast having Belle as his prisoner and then he is remembering everything that has happened to him prior to. Basically, how he became cursed.
I quite enjoyed this really! It was interesting how he was cursed because Serena obviously embellishes on what the movie told us. And the curse itself was more of a slow acting one than an instant change. So our Prince, because yup, still doesn’t have a name, is trying his best to find love. Though his attempts aren’t quite as genuine as they should be.
I was quite surprised to see that his best friend and cohort in selfish ways and all things hunting and dallying with women and leaving them…was Gaston! Yes, the Prince and Gaston were childhood friends! What happened there, you ask? Well, you will soon find out.
The Enchantress that we all know actually had three sisters, who are really more of the troublemakers in this story. After the Enchantress cursed the Beast, it’s her sisters who cause more problems for him. They want him to fail whereas the Enchantress would kind of prefer him to succeed.
The story was much more detailed in ways that I am not describing too well, but it’s because I don’t want to touch on spoilers. Just know that we get to see more of the Prince before he became the Beast, still nameless as ever. After we learn his story we get back to present time and watch him rescue Belle from the wolves and continue seeing the story progress. I really liked how Serena twisted the witches’ manipulations to cause moments of the story! It really made the story be more Disneyified!
The pacing to this one was good! Not too fast, not that slow. But just right. For the bulk of the story is more about how the Prince was cursed into the Beast and watching him try to fight said curse. The last few pages bring us back on track to the movie story you could say.
I was happy with how things ended, obviously! We’ve all seen the movie so we all know how it ends! The journey that it takes to get there is only slightly modified! This is definitely a worthy read for all Disney fans to check out! I can’t wait to go back to the other ones surrounding this trilogy to see what the other famed villains were like prior to their Disney outcomes!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars