Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Tale As Old As Time || The Bride and the Beast - Teresa Medeiros

The Bride and The Beast - Teresa Medeiros
The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiros
Series: Fairy Tales #2
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: April 3, 2001
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

Dear Reader,

I'd been prowling the crumbling ruins of Castle Weyrcraig for so long that I could no longer remember if I was man or beast. Then one stormy night the superstitious Highlanders of Ballybliss decided to leave a helpless virgin bound to a stake in the castle courtyard to satisfy my insatiable appetites. 

My demands might strike terror in the hearts of men, but this bold beauty dared to defy me. After she informed me that she didn't believe in dragons, I had no choice but to make her my prisoner - or risk being exposed to those I had sought to deceive with my dangerous masquerade. 

Soon I found myself stealing into the moonlit tower just to watch her sleep. Little does she know that beneath this beast's gruff exterior beats the passionate heart of a man. Gwendolyn Wilder may not believe in dragons, but I intend to use all my sensual wiles to teach her to believe in something even more magical - true love.

Eternally yours,

The Dragon of Weyrcraig

The Bride and the Beast holds many similarities to the Disney Beauty and the Beast film. What Medeiros has managed to accomplish, however, is adding her own spin on things. The best retellings take elements of the original tale and weave them into something that is both familiar and new – and this is certainly what I experienced with The Bride and the Beast

Historical romances are a weakness for me, sure, but that also means I’m very picky about them. But with The Bride and the Beast, there were still certain things about it that stood out – the heroine (Gwendolyn Wilder), the story twists (one that I totally saw coming from the start, and one that I didn’t quite expect but makes perfect sense) and the integration of the “Beast” and other fairy tale details.


A Plucky Heroine


Gwendolyn is my favorite kind of heroine – plucky, kind-hearted, smart and filled with a whole lot of love to give. She cares deeply for her family, spends her free time immersed in learning and books, and gives off the impression that she’s okay with the status quo… even though she still really wants her fairytale and happy ending deep down inside. It was easy for me to identify with her, and even easier for me to root for her to win over the Dragon.


Twists and Turns, the Mayhem, Oh My!


Basically, it’s really easy to figure out one big twist right from when readers first learn of the Dragon. But there’s this other twist that comes much later on in the story that I was definitely not expecting! I figured it out before the revelation, but it still surprised me. I appreciate a story that can do that, and The Bride and the Beast accomplished that feat.


Fitting in the Details


What I adore about The Bride and the Beast is how cleverly the “Beast” is integrated into the story. He’s cloaked in shadow and mystery, still gruff, tough and untamed. He never reveals his true form to anyone, even Gwendolyn, until it can no longer be avoided. In the end, it is also the promise of true love that brings him back from the brink of disaster!

The setting also seemed like it was lifted from the original, as most of the story occurs in the rundown ruins of a castle. And then there’s the fact that Gwendolyn shares a lot of similarities with Belle – she’s a reader, thirsting for adventure and loves her family so.
All in all, I’d have to admit that The Bride and the Beast was definitely enjoyable! The writing style was fluid, the fairytale vibe strong and the story just plain fun (and very different from my usual historical romances). The Bride and the Beast wouldn’t rank among my favorites, but it definitely was fun to read.

[P.S. Teresa Medeiros also wrote Yours Until Dawn, which also reads like it was inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I did love that one! You can see my review here, and my discussion with Racquel and Sharon here.]

This review was posted as part of A Tale as Old as Time.

2 comments:

  1. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite Disney tale by a long shot, so you'd better believe that, alone, intrigues me! The fact that the author managed to inject twists and turns into the story and make it for the older lot, too, really appeals to me. I'll definitely need to read this one! Great review, Alexa! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was one of my favorite books when I was in middle school!

    ReplyDelete

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