I know it's not quite Friday but consider this a double dose of Fairy Tale Fun with a book review today and an author interview tomorrow!
The labyrinthine mansion with its self-lighting candles and ever-changing rooms and corridors is but one of many wonders Bee encounters as the structure's denizens are even more unique. She meets Butler and Housekeeper who are as integrated into the house as their names suggest and the little girl Rose, who becomes more plant-like every day. And then there is the Beast. Rather than some bizarre monster, Bee encounters the head of the household as a young man named Will. A large scar mars his countenance but the most beastly thing about him is in fact his short temper. Bee, however, has a fiery personality to match Will's own, and she soon discovers that it's up to her to break the riddle-filled curse that holds them all enslaved if she ever wants a chance to go home.
I enjoyed the fantasy elements that Kate Ellison blended into this story. The characters are intriguing and the puzzles involved in the curse were unique. I didn't find Bee particularly easy to relate to - the book would probably be better suited to a younger audience - but I still appreciated her spirited nature. I also enjoyed the relationship between Bee and Will, which developed throughout the story.
With a sprinkling of fairies, witches, and shapeshifters, this urban fantasy work manages to update "Beauty and the Beast" for today's teen readers, while still maintaining the elements of the story that make it so beloved. All in all, The Curse Girl is a creative new take on a classic story.
This work also marks an odd hybrid between my Indie In Summer feature and my 2011 Fairy Tale Challenge (7 out of 12). Stay tuned tomorrow for my interview with author Kate Ellison as we discuss her work and favorite fairy tales!