ettegoom: (Bat)
[personal profile] ettegoom posting in [community profile] littleknownbooks
I don't know if this book counts or not, but I know very few people who have ever heard of it, and it can be difficult to find.

"Beauty tells the story of Beauty, the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire, and begins in 14th Century England. However, this is an England of an alternate universe, as magic abounds here, and we find out that Beauty is half faerie. Because of a social slight, one of her faerie aunts laid a curse upon her, stating that upon her sixteenth birthday, the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire would prick her finger upon a spindle and die. This sounds like the typical version of Sleeping Beauty that we all heard our parents read to us as children, right? Wrong. Beauty has an illegitimate half-sister who--technically--is also the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire, and was born on the same day as Beauty. The curse comes to fruition, with Beauty's sister, Beloved, pricking her finger and falling into a deep sleep, as do the rest of the occupants of the castle keep.

In a departure from the typical fairy tale or fantasy tale, Beauty herself bravely sets out to attempt to right this wrong. She vows to find her mother in order to learn how to break the enchantment
."

This is an interesting book that I first encountered at the tender age of 14.  I really enjoyed the way the author links a huge number of well known fairy tales to the single character of Beauty.  Rereading it again recently as an adult, I still enjoyed this aspect, but also found the environmental, political and spiritual messages in the book fascinating.  I found the style easy to read, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy. I also  like the fact that it has a strong female heroine who takes charge of her own destiny, rather than leaving it to fate!

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