Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey

Title:
Beauty and the Werewolf
SubTitle:
A captivating new Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms
Publisher:
Harlequin
Imprint:
LUNA Books
Pub Date:
10/25/2011
ISBN:
9780373803286
Author:
Mercedes Lackey
Category:
FICTION – ADULT: Action & Adventure
The eldest daughter isoften doomed in fairy tales. But Bella— Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of awealthy merchant—vows to escape the usual pitfalls.
Anxious to avoid theTraditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forestto consult with “Granny,” the local wise woman. But on the way home she’sattacked by a wolf—who turns out to be a cursed nobleman! Secluded in hiscastle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who createsmarvellous inventions and makes her laugh—when he isn’t howling at themoon.
Breaking spells is nevereasy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he’s only an occasionalwerewolf) and a little godmotherly interference might just be able to bringabout a happy ending…


~~~~~~~~~~~~

I haven’t read any novels from the Tales of Five HundredKingdoms but I do love a fairytale (and one written for adults!) so I justcouldn’t resist when I saw this available to review on Netgalley.

In the beginning of this fairy tale we get to know Bella’sfamily and her place within it – her father, wealthy merchant Henri Beauchamps,step-mother Genevieve and step-sisters Amber and Pearl.  Bella has taken on the role of running thehousehold since her mother died when she was ten and carried on even afterHenri married Genevieve.  Genevieve hastaken the role of ‘invalid’ and comes across as rather snobbish.  Amber and Pearl are the flighty socialiteswho prefer nothing better than to parade their fashionable clothes andgossip.  Bella is very practical anddown-to-earth. 

Bella is learning the art of herbs and healing from ‘Granny’who lives in the woods.  It is on theway back from one of these visits that she is bitten by the werewolf, who byday is Duke Sebastian.

Whisked out of her bed during the early hours of the nextmorning, she finds out she is to be a virtual prisoner at the Duke’s estate forthree months on order of the King and the ‘Godmother’ while they wait to see ifBella will turn into a werewolf herself.

The Duke’s home is served by invisible beings who have been‘called’ by the Duke.  They are spiritelementals and Bella gets to know the hierarchy as she is organising them.  She learns that some of them are intelligentand may know more than they can say about the Duke’s curse.  She also organises the stillroom and makesthe lotions and liniments.  It’s notlong before Bella has the household organised! Then in steps Eric, the Gamekeeper. Eric takes her with him while he is catching poachers and trains her touse weapons and how to ride a horse.  Eric hides a lot beneath the surface and is an intriguing character.  Bella is also learning magic from Duke Sebastian and she realises shehas a lot of power.

There are so many things I enjoyed on this magicaljourney.  Granny – everyfairy tale has to have a wise woman – one who is a healer and holder ofwisdom.  I think everyone should haveaccess to a ‘Granny’!  The ‘Godmother’who is the highest authority on magic in several kingdoms – she has a vitalpart to play in the story and I loved her role.  The Tradition. Even though this is imaginary … I haveoften thought in my own imaginings this may in fact be the force behind ourworld so I loved to see The Tradition shaping lives (or not as the case maybe!).

Duke Sebastian is rather self-effacing and just wants toplease but as the story unfolds, we see his character blossom into the man he reallyis!  Bella is a very strongheroine.  Forceful and demanding butvery practical and down-to-earth.  Sheis feisty and unconventional. I loved her confidence.  Bella learns a vital lesson about manipulation – if we know wecan create our own reality there is no need to manipulate others into providing for our needs.

Beauty and the Werewolf has a climax that I found to berather exciting …  and the epilogue justrounded the fairy tale off nicely and follows the path of The Tradition.

I have to admit that I am biased towards fairy tales, magicand sorcery.  This story won’t appeal toeveryone but even if you haven’t read a fairy tale since your childhood (or hadone read to you!) I would recommend that you pick up a copy of Beauty and theWerewolf and let it take you to an imaginary place where magic shapes the worldand experience a beautiful place to reside for a few hours.  This story is a wonderful remake of a traditional fairy tale.  

I am giving Beauty and the Werewolf the following rating:




About Mercedes Lackey:
Mercedes Lackey is theacclaimed author of more than fifty novels and many works of short fiction. Inher “spare” time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild birdrehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequentcollaborator, the artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

You can find out more aboutMercedes at her website.

http://rcm-uk.amazon.co.uk/e/cm?t=jersjam-21&o=2&p=8&l=as1&asins=0373803281&ref=tf_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

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