Adventure · Fantasy · YA

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince (Villains #2) by Serena Valentino

I’m fully aware that I’m reading this collection backwards, but I honestly say that it doesn’t make a difference to me. These tiny books are a treasure and it’s a true pleasure to read them no matter in which order I receive them. Beauty Within is just as good as Poor Unfortunately Souls and I would give it more stars if I could.

You think you know the story of the selfish, arrogant and proud prince that got cursed to live as a beast until he found true love and has loved in return? Think again. In this novel, you will have a glimpse at the past of a prince that is the fruit of privilege, richness but also loneliness and superficiality.

I fell completely in love with this perspective of the story of the Beast. The story-line is very well-developed and the style of writing is as beautiful as always. I really felt like I got to know Beast a bit better and to understand him in a level that the Disney version didn’t allow me to. It’s different, powerful and a bit scary. I couldn’t imagine that Miss Valentino could come up with such a version of the punishment that Prince Adam goes through before the curse is complete. I will not give any spoilers, but I can tell you the punishment is slow, painful and has a psychological side to it that is both perfect and a bit cruel. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s very efficient.

Like I wrote on my previous review of “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, villains aren’t born evil; there are circumstances outside their control, the environment they spend their childhoods in that shape you they become in the future. In the real world, we do bad choices and chose wrong paths but in the end we learn about our mistakes and just like the Beast, the thing we fear the most is unjust and cruel judgement.

A great book that I highly recommend to all the fairytale-fans out there!

5 Stars

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