Oh heavens in the skies above, I haven’t read a novel like this in a very long time. It had me captivated in just one chapter, and with a story like this one it’s really no big surprise. It gives us a whole new meaning to the phrase fairy tales with a twist. Because that is exactly what this novel is. It’s a novel that has taken one of our favorite childhood fairy tales and put its own spin on it. Making it a novel that Stacey Jay can now add to her list of most noteworthy novels that she has ever written.
In all of Isra’s short life she has not once seen the light of day. After going blind as a child Isra can’t even remember what the sky look like, or the sun for that matter. And even though Isra can’t see, she does know that she’s considered the ugly princess of her kingdom. A kingdom where the beautiful reign, and those who are considered mutant are cast out into the lowlands of Yuan. The only thing that is worse than being cast out is being sacrificed. Just like Isra will be in just a short amount of time. Just like all of the rest of the women in her family before her. And the only regret that Isra will leave behind is that she couldn’t do more to help those who have been cast out of Yuan. The people like Gem, who are considered mutant. Gem and his tribe have had a hard life in the lowlands of Yuan. These lands are a harsh and dangerous place, with barely any food or water for his people to survive on. In fact, food is so scarce that in times of need the weak and young in his tribe eat a poisonous root that kills them. Leaving the strong to live another day. This is the reality that Gem’s young son will soon face if help isn’t found. And the only way to help out his tribe rests behind the glass walls of Yuan. The King’s roses are worth a fortune for those who have them. And Gem will risk his own life to get one. But if he’s not careful then he’s also going to be risking the life of his own son as well.
This novel is a wonderful example of a young adult urban fantasy romance novel. One that solely focuses on the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but that has a twist added to it. A twist that has made this novel into one of a thing of beauty for all to see. Especially with the different concept on this particular fairy tale. Because it redefines what we think about when someone says Beauty and the Beast. It turns this novel into something completely unique, while also trying to stay the same to some degree. So when it comes down to my final recommendation all I have to say is that it’s a must-read novel. This novel will take you to a wonderful place that all young adult readers will love. It’s an exciting novel that will keep you up even after you’re done reading it. So go to your nearest bookstore and pick it up as soon as possible, you definitely won’t regret it.
*Read on November 4th, 2013