I’m more beast than beauty

Today I’m part of the blog tour for Kill the beast. A book I’ve waited a very long time to read. I just adore all things beauty and the beast. So when I heard about this retelling I just knew I had to have it.

From the back cover:

9781943788040-Perfect.inddRo remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.
Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive—just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known. But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill. Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him. But things are not as they seem.
Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.
A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Michele-Israel-Harper-HeadshotMichele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête— and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author of Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the

Why I Identify with the Beast: A Dive-in Review

Beauty and the beast is my favorite Disney movie for one reason. Belle is an introverted, book reading, brunette. I am an introverted, book reading, brunette. That is where the comparison ends.

 I am not patient and I am not kind. I lose my temper and get irrationally angry, I judge people by how they look. I would rather wallow in self pity bemoaning the unfairness of life, than take any responsibility for my own actions.

 I am much more Beast than Beauty.

Beast Hunter

Me and author Michele Israel Harper at the costume banquet during Realm Makers. I’m the beast.

 This is why a Beauty and the Beast retelling is made or broken by one thing. The Beast.

The beast gets the story ultimately he’s the one who changes. It is literally his character arch. He gets to grow up. He gets to make up for his selfish ways and because of that he is more relate-able. 

So why is the beast so overlooked? Why is he, so often, not even given a name? (I’m looking at you Disney.) You could go on about the patriarchy and their desire to make women conform to their ideals of demure servitude. You could cry Girl Power and write essays about how beauty is symbolic of wresting the power from the aforementioned patriarchy.

 Or you can do what Michele Israel Harper did. She gave us this amazingly flawed beast who learns his lesson and finds love and learns that action is always better than self pity. He has a name!

But she didn’t stop there.

 Michele wrote an amazingly flawed beauty too. Rosette is angry and hot tempered and believes rumors and judges the beast on his fierceness. She won’t listen. And she literally has murder in her heart. The book is called Kill the Beast after all.

 This isn’t just a Beauty who feels like a real person. She feels like me. I can relate to a beauty who makes mistakes and who isn’t held up as some unattainable example of what women should be. And yes she still likes books.

 Michele based her novel on the original french version but she also includes many Disney nods for those who can’t separate fairy tale from mouse tail.

 Finally a retelling about Beauty and the Beast, that makes me feel for both Beast and Beauty.

I just want to keep Gushing about the wonderfully twisted ending but I shouldn’t spoil it for you. At least you don’t have to wait four years to read it. Because it’s out now.

Buy it here:


9781943788040-Perfect.inddThere is also a prequel novella set just before Kill the Beast. It’s called Beast Hunter and you can find it here: https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/beast-hunter/

A curse has overtaken Ro’s kingdom, blackening the soil, wiping out crops, and bringing ruin. The only people who thrive are the huntsmen, brought in to stem the flow of ravenous creatures. When Ro kills a wolf, an idea begins to form. Could she become a huntress? Before she can act, her father trades her life for his—to a magical beast.

It provides a lot of back story and is just super fun in it’s own right.

I’m giving away a signed copy of the novella Beast Hunter (signed by the author not by me) to one of you lucky readers. Just click through and fill out the Raffle Copter form. (unfortunately this is a physical prize so I need to limit this to United States Only.)

Beast winner

What’s your favorite version of Beauty and the Beast?

Don’t like Beauty and the Beast, what’s your favorite fairy tale retelling?


18 Comments (+add yours?)

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  4. J.M. Jablowski
    Oct 01, 2018 @ 18:05:15

    I love Beauty and the Beast, but I haven’t read many retellings that I really felt did the original fairy tale justice.
    Currently my favorite retellings are the Fairy Tale Retold series by Regina Doman, specifically the first three books are my favorites.
    Shadow of the Bear (Snow White and Rose Red), Black as Night (Snow White), Waking Rose (Sleeping Beauty). It’s the same characters in all three books, they are very good.


    • C.O. Bonham
      Oct 01, 2018 @ 19:02:26

      Cool, that sounds fun. So the same character is all three fairytale princesses, or all three princesses are in all three books? Either way it sounds good

      If you loved the original version of Beauty and the Beast. Then you should like Michele’s retelling.


      • J.M. Jablowski
        Oct 02, 2018 @ 15:35:42

        “Snow White” is a girl named Blanche Briar, and “Rose Red” is her younger sister Rose Briar. So the first book is about them both, the second book focuses on Blanche, and the third book focuses and Rose.
        And yeah, Michele’s book sounds really interesting. It’s on my TBR for sure. 🙂

  5. Sarah Ashwood
    Oct 01, 2018 @ 09:33:01

    My favorite fairytale retelling is Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marlillier.


  6. Angela R. Watts
    Sep 30, 2018 @ 22:25:35

    My fave retelling, so far, I don’t read/bother with many, is The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo! It had me rolling! 😀


  7. ekaiserwrites
    Sep 30, 2018 @ 17:05:53

    I enjoyed getting to know Ro in the prequel novella give away at RM in the packets… and I’d love to win this copy!!! I shall go and entire right away! 😉


  8. Laura VanArendonk Baugh
    Sep 30, 2018 @ 16:39:46

    Not to be contrary, but there has been a retelling from the beast’s point of view, called simply BEAST by Donna Jo Napoli (https://amzn.to/2P42dZP tho’ it’s better than this new cover O.o ). It did some really innovative things with the story.

    But there’s always room for another, so let’s certainly welcome Michele’s!

    I’m not sure if I have a favorite retelling; I can’t ever commit to a favorite anything. I like variety. 🙂 But I’m going to mention BEAST again just for the nontraditional take (starts in Persia, ends in France, and doesn’t put all the responsibility for saving/changing him on Beauty).


  9. C.O. Bonham
    Sep 27, 2018 @ 14:10:26

    Thanks, it’s actually really bothered me that there hasn’t been a retelling from the beasts point of view. Beastly is more contemporary than fairy tale. And Beast of Talesend is more continuation than retelling.

    Anyway Michele’s version is one of only two I’ve read where the Beast is give a really good part and (spoiler coming) ultimately is forced to step up at the end.

    p.s. That’s one of my favorite photos from Realm Makers.


  10. Laura A. Grace
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 16:39:44

    I LOVE your review so much! I hadn’t considered how much the Beast is overlooked until you mentioned it. I know one thing I loved about “Belle” in Michele’s story is that she wasn’t like Belle, but oh so much like the Beast too (and for the reasons you mentioned). I’m super pumped for the second book! 😀


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