Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
Some of my favorite stories are retellings – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, the new Beauty and the Beast movie – and HUNTED has joined this list without hesitation.
HUNTED follows Yeva (Belle) and her family as they lose their fortune and are forced to move to the countryside, where a mysterious forest awaits, rife with magic and monsters. Yeva doesn’t believe her father’s fairy tales about the Beast and other forest creatures, instead dismissing them as a figment of her father’s addled mind. It’s only when she herself disappears into the forest and is captured by the Beast that she realizes her father’s visions were true all along.
This story follows more closely the Russian folktale than the Disney movie, and I was so on board with that! This was my first experience with Meagan Spooner’s writing style, and I loved it so much. It was rich and lyrical, yet very easy to read. I felt transported to the haunted forest, felt the snow beneath my feet, felt the wind blowing across my skin. It was such an experience, and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the transportation aspect of books.
I would also definitely recommend HUNTED to anyone looking for a fantasy with a little romance. It was enjoyable, and so worth the read!
Author: Meagan Spooner
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Pub Date: March 14, 2017
Genre: YA fantasy / fairytale retelling
Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Goodreads