November 17, 2008

A Beastly Prince

This is Donna Jo Napoli's Beast. It is the story of Beauty and the Beast, but tells the story about what happened to the beast and how he got to where he did. Prince Orasmyn is in line to be the king of Persia when he angers a fairy. The fairy then condemns him to a life as a beast. Her curse will only be broken when a woman falls in love with him. Orasmyn, trapped in his lion's body, travels to India and tries to assimilate himself into lion culture. But his human instints are too great. He travels to France and finds an abandoned castle. When a man wanders into his castle during a storm, Orasmyn demands that he bring his daughter to him. The daughter who loves roses as much as Orasmyn did. Belle arrives, and the two slowly become friends and eventually fall in love, thus breaking the curse and returning Orasmyn to his handsome human form.

I loved this. It's the traditional fairy tale with a really raw and interesting twist. It is a book designed for young adults, but as an adult, I loved it too. It took a while to get into it as it explains in detail a traditional Persian ceremony. However, after this, the story really picks up. It is interesting to get a look into the trials that Orasmyn had to face. We all know what Belle went through thanks to Disney, but we never knew what made the Beast so bitter and resentful. This book sheds Napoli's interpretation on this. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something a little bit different. If you liked Wicked, you'll like this better. The language is easy to follow, and the entertainment level is there too.

My reading has been a bit sparse this month. My first semester of my teaching program is coming to an end, and of course everything is due now. But I am planning to start I Am Mary Tudor this week if I get the chance. I've heard good things about it, and it's about the Tudors... so I can't really go wrong there. I am currently looking for reading recommendations. I have not updated my TBR list in a really long time. I am open to pretty much everything fiction. Thanks ahead of time!

On another note, I know I will be the envy of every big reader out there when I announce this. I got a part-time job at my local library! I work predominantly in the youth department, which is really fun. Already I had a little girl, who wasn't any older than two, following me around and wanting to copy everything I was doing while reshelving. So adorable. So when I am not at home reading or doing work to teach my future students about reading, I am surrounded by books at work. Heaven for a book nerd like me! Happy reading!

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