Monday, April 17, 2017


When Yeva's family loses their fortune in a risky venture, they must leave their home in town and return to the family hunting cottage deep in woods.  Yeva is sorry for the burdens created by this loss, but she is also secretly happy to be able to return to the forest where no one will scold her for hunting and wearing pants instead of dresses.

Her father, once a legendary hunter, becomes obsessed with a beast he has sensed in the forest and tracks the creature relentlessly.  Yeva and her sisters want to believe their father, but there is madness in eyes when he talks of the creature.

When he disappears, Yeva heads out into the heart of the forest to search for him, but she finds her father's terrible beast.  He is simultaneously a large and terrifying wolflike creature and all too human.

She becomes his prisoner in an ancient castle hidden deep in the forest.  Once the beast realizes no one is coming to rescue Yeva, he begins training her for a mission she does not understand, but the training helps her to see beyond the outer edges of the world and into the magic that lies just beneath the surface.

Meagan Spooner's new novel is a different version of Beauty and the Beast steeped in Russian folklore with a Beauty whose hunting skills make her almost as deadly as the beast.  While the ending of the story won't be a surprise to fans of the fairy tale, the journey to get to there is a thoughtful one that explores some previously ignored aspects of the story.  Highly recommended for ages 13 and up.

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