Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beauty and the Werewolf-Mercedes Lackey

Beauty and the Werewolf

Mercedes Lackey

Luna, Oct 18 2011, $24.95

ISBN: 9780373803286

Isabella Beauchamps tries to get along with her stepmother (Genevieve) and two stepsisters (Amber and Pearl). However, she is unhappy as she feels like the outsider with her dad Henri the merchant paying attention to his second wife and her two daughters. One day wearing a cloak of red Bella journeys through the forbidden forest where she meets Eric the woodsman as she brings goodies to Granny the wisewoman and heeds her advice.

On the way home, a werewolf attacks and bites her. The king sends Bella to stay with reclusive sorcerer Duke Sebastian to determine whether she is a full moon shifter. Her reluctant host is also a werewolf trying to find a spell to remove the shifter curse. At the same time she assists the duke with his experiments and also struggles to identify his servants, Bella, using a mirror, consults with her Fairy Godmother who explains none can buck the universal Tradition force that insures everyone fits inside a fairy tale.

The latest fabulous Five Hundred Kingdoms fantasy (see The Sleeping Beauty and The Fairy Godmother) is a terrific entry as Mercedes Lackey once again satirizes the Tradition roles of society in which those stepping outside the box are condemned as heretics rather than pioneers. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action while there is plenty of humor as Bella attempts to break out of the Tradition expected of the oldest daughter.

Harriet Klausner

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