Beauty is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty interwoven with several other fairy tales. It is deemed that the prince needs an adventure and a wife, but he needs some protection so he’s sent off with the Huntsman. On their travels they find a cottage with a wolf problem and discover a city in slumber. We all know that the prince wakes Beauty up with a kiss but what happens next? It’s not all happily ever after here.
“She’s asleep. You just can’t go around touching girls when they’re asleep.”
I was actually expecting it to be a bit raunchier. It certainly is not for children, there are a few sex bits but overall it felt very much like a fairy tale with extra characters and a bit more grown up. I think Sarah Pinborough wanted to make a point about sexism but there’s a really awkwardly explained scene where the Huntsman is going on about how women shouldn’t be judged if they have sex. Which is true, but seemed an out of place this in the context of this tale. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, so why was he going to lengths to justify it?
“If we wake up in a hundred years with trees growing out of our arses, then I’d say we didn’t make it.”
It was interesting to have an explanation and justification behind why Beauty was put to sleep. I liked the fact that all the fairy tale characters lived in the same world, that they knew of Rapunzel even though she’s not from their story (neither is the Huntsman).
Book Source: World Fantasy Con freebie