Beautiful Beast by E.J. Hill

Beautiful Beast (Beautiful Queens, #1) by E.J. Hill

Title: Beautiful Beast
Author: E.J. Hill
Series: Beautiful Queens #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Magic, Retellings
Dates read: 1st – 8th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: ARC, eBook, Novel
Publisher: E.J. Hill
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: Dear, it is nothing you have done.

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My name is Kalista. They call me the beast.

Kalista has been cursed by a powerful sorceress and is now a prisoner in her own palace. As petals fall from an enchanted rose, her fate and the sorceress’s victory draw nearer. But Kalista refuses to be defeated so easily and uses her own magic to push against the bindings. Yet what if it is not enough and the only way the curse might be shattered is through the help of another?

When Arawn crosses into the beast’s domain, he has one motive: revenge for his brother’s death. But as he draws nearer to the beast and is surrounded by invisible servants, magical banquets, and an enchanted forest, he realizes that this beast is much more complex and much more human than he first thought.

As their paths intertwine, Kalista must risk opening her heart to another, while Arawn must learn to see past his hate and prejudice. Together, they struggle against spells, wolves, and time itself to break the curse. If they fail, Kalista will fall asleep and will never again wake.


I received this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I got this book as an ARC through Book Sirens. It’s the first of (I’m hoping) many books that I receive in this way. And boy, was it a great way to start getting books through this group. Books that will, hopefully, blow me away like this one did. Because I definitely plan on adding more E.J. Hill to my reading lists! It was brilliant and beautiful. The kind of book that most definitely swept me off my feet and left me feeling giddy, happy and just… complete. Like all good books do.

You can never really go wrong with Beauty and the Beast retellings to my mind. It is still one of my favourite fairy tales, and I have honestly loved each and every retelling that I have had the privilege of reading. Yet, this was somehow my favourite. The motif of roses is strong and repeated throughout, Hill is able to seamlessly weave different aspects of the Disney original throughout her words. And there are just generally so many parts of this retelling that are… well, impossible to step away from. It’s fantastic, wonderful, and, yup, is making me rave about this fantastic retelling.

Doing a gender swap on the Beauty and the Beast was a great and intriguing way to start off this retelling. That, and the fact that the curse placed upon the ‘beast” was brilliantly described in this story. I love that by starting with the curse and a child being cursed, you were able to feel so much more sympathy and fear for the characters in this story. I also like that Kalista is portrayed as the beast, even though she is physically unchanged. The multitude of different gender comments that this made left me smiling like a fool the whole way through reading this story.

Not only were the fairy tale aspects of this story brilliant, but I also loved the characters. Arawn and Kalista slowly fall for each other in this beautifully organic way. And although you already know some of the background for each of the characters, you only slowly get the full stories revealed. I can’t wait to see what Hill does as a follow up to this fantastic novel! I have all of my fingers and toes crossed in anticipation!

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Image source: Goodreads

17 thoughts on “Beautiful Beast by E.J. Hill

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