Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first, Sarah didn’t see the magic, then she was surrounded by it.
Sarah’s family moved a lot, until the day her mother walked out on the family. Then her father left her with a bitter grandmother she never knew. Beasts, talking birds, self-cleaning castles and freezing forests became her new life. Feeling alone, Sarah discovered not only that magic was real, but that she was the third generation of a family cursed. Her grandfather and father both became beasts when their feelings of true love were not returned. Sarah set out to discover how to break that curse before it happens to her, but no one seemed willing to help.
The cover instantly drew me in. The silhouetted castle reminded me of the fairy tale retellings by Adam Gidwitz, such as A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beastkeeper is a twist on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The idea is nice because it puts a girl in the role of a beast.
The prose were simply beautiful. I loved how the start of the book worked beastly and magical descriptions into mundane events and objects, wonderfully foreshadowing the magic that was to come. Lines painted pictures in my head, such as, “The words fell out onto the table and flew away like dandelion seeds, never reaching him.”
The second half of the book moved a little fast and some things were not fully explained. However, it didn’t take away from the story that was told. For example, while details about Sarah falling in love were light, it didn’t matter because her concern for her family felt more important.
I would recommend this book to those that enjoy fairy tale retellings and fanciful prose, scattered with imagery.
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