Beauty And The Beast is a story that has been told many times in many different ways over the years. The question is, how does a writer distinguish their version from the previous versions?
In Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay, Isra is the last living member of the royal family. Blinded from a young age, she knows that at some point in near future, she will have to sacrifice herself for her city and her people. Gem is from the desert people known as Monstrous. For an untold number of generations, Isra’s people, known as the Smooth Skins, have fought with the Monstrous people. But Monstrous are dying of starvation. To save his people, Gem steals an enchanted rose from Isra’s garden. Captured before he can escape, he becomes a prisoner.
Isra is curious about him and asks for his help. Their relationship begins to change from Queen and prisoner to something more. Not only will their relationship forever change the course of their lives, it will change everything that Isra was taught to believe.
I really enjoyed this book. It was so engrossing that I had to finish it before going to bed. Ms. Jay blends politics, social issues, myth, science fiction and the traditional Beauty and The Beast narrative into a novel that is engrossing, extremely readable and extremely enjoyable.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.