By Cynthia Bujnicki
We all know the story of Beauty and the Beasts, but what about the Beast? Take a look at his side of the story where the heart of the Beast is as beautiful as his love ever was.
What an amazing retelling. There is something so incredible about the novel, how it tells the story of Beauty and the Beasts but in a completely different way. Here, the reader gets to know Beasts; the reader gets to follow him and know who he is, how he thinks and how he feels. It is remarkable because unlike other stories where the Beast’s is there but more of a side character, here is the central character, the narrative that defines the progress of the story. Listening to the story be told from Beast’s perspective is unique, it is a fresh way to go about building the story, by following Beast’s in his journey to becoming human again. His emotions resonate off the pages, and his calm thoughtful and considerate nature is something that readers were only ever able to see before instead of being able to feel. That is what makes his narrative so captivating, the fact that the reader can feel what the Beast is feeling and understand him completely.
The way the story also showcases the other characters of the novel is unique as well. Usually, Isabeau’s family in other incarnations of the story are either minimal, bitter, or otherwise nonexistent. However, here, Shallcross gave extra attention to them, allowing them to add dimension and depth to the story and Isabeau’s past. By adding them to the story the plot has added dimension and depth, it also shows the Beast’s generosity. By adding in Isabeau’s family into the narrative, Shallcross adds even more exceptionality to the story in a magnificent way by showing the reader where Isabeau came from, and it allows the reader to understand most of her motivation. She is very different from previous incarnations of Belle, but the strong-willed nature, the love she has for her family, they are as strong as ever, even if those family dynamics are different.
The Beast’s Heart is a multidimensional retelling. It is beautiful and moving thoughtfully. It explores the Beast’s heart, exploring his nature and how he deals with the curse. It offers readers something truly unique in the world of Beauty and the Beast’s retelling by shifting the focus of the narrative and expanding the scope of the story to include elements outside of the cursed estate (★★★★★ | A+)