Hunted Beauty Knows The Beast S Forest In Her Bones And In Her Blood Though She Grew Up With The City S Highest Aristocrats, Far From Her Father S Old Lodge, She Knows That The Forest Holds Secrets And That Her Father Is The Only Hunter Who S Ever Come Close To Discovering Them So When Her Father Loses His Fortune And Moves Yeva And Her Sisters Back To The Outskirts Of Town, Yeva Is Secretly Relieved Out In The Wilderness, There S No Pressure To Make Idle Chatter With Vapid Baronessas Or To Submit To Marrying A Wealthy Gentleman But Yeva S Father S Misfortune May Have Cost Him His Mind, And When He Goes Missing In The Woods, Yeva Sets Her Sights On One Prey The Creature He D Been Obsessively Tracking Just Before His Disappearance Deaf To Her Sisters Protests, Yeva Hunts This Strange Beast Back Into His Own Territory A Cursed Valley, A Ruined Castle, And A World Of Creatures That Yeva S Only Heard About In Fairy Tales A World That Can Bring Her Ruin Or Salvation Who Will Survive The Beauty, Or The Beast

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia She s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, S

[Epub] ➞ Hunted By Meagan Spooner –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 384 pages
  • Hunted
  • Meagan Spooner
  • English
  • 18 September 2017

10 thoughts on “Hunted

  1. says:

    She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything 4 1 2 stars Wow, this was unexpected I got an arc of Hunted from edelweiss months ago After putting it off again and again for other books, I decided to let it expire Seriously, who even needs another Beauty the Beast retelling Then this book was given to me as a gift and resigned sigh I decided to just give it a shot And I m so glad I did.Cruel Beauty is still my favourite Beauty the Beast retelling, but this comes in at a close second It obviously follows the familiar BtB format, whilst doing something completely new and fresh with it I loved what it did I love the new themes the author explores in this old template It s a haunting, well written story Full of icy coldness, the language of fairy tales, and underneath, a running theme of that inexplicable longing for something you can t quite put your finger on Maybe it s like wanderlust that restlessness and dissatisfaction with staying in one place for too long Maybe it s just wanting without knowing what you want It s powerful, though, and Spooner captures that feeling so wonderfully here Surprisingly, it s very not romantic There is no time given over to lusty encounters and stolen kisses with a somehow sexy beast Rather, the relationship between Beauty and this Beast is one between two outsiders who see something they recognize in one another Yeva aka Beauty is a trained hunter and she remains dedicated to her passion and her family throughout.The setting is inspired by rural medieval Russia Lots of coldness, snow and ice, and it fits with the tale very well Yeva and her father navigate this white covered wilderness in their hunting, but then Yeva s father starts rambling about a beast unlike any other A beast that is smart and cunning A beast that is following him The snow is a canvas, her father would say, upon which the beast paints his past, his home, his intentions, his future Learn to see the picture and you will know him as you know yourself. When he doesn t return from a hunting trip, Yeva leaves her beloved sisters to go track him Of course, she finds way than she bargained for Not just a beast, but a whole world of fantastical creatures that seem to play by a different set of rules But Yeva knows these rules they re the rules of the fairy tales her father always read to her The rule of threes The rule of curses The rule of breaking them.Yeva is determined to kill the beast and return to her family But her quest to kill the seemingly unkillable creature unveils ever secrets, and the longer she spends in this world, the she worries what world she will find when she leaves.Despite having read so many retellings these past few years, Hunted found a special place in my heart It was thoughtful, moving and for me unputdownable.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

  2. says:

    Inches from her face was a nightmarish visage, snarling fangs and red gold eyes She screamed, every muscle going rigid as she tried to struggle free, but claws dug into her skin on all sides, giving her no room to move She stretched out with one arm anyway, ignoring the tearing pain of it, fingers brushing the hilt of her fletching knife YOU GAVE US YOUR WORD The voice was almost unrecognizable, the roar tangible against her face as the teeth flashed in the firelight The claws tightened, piercing her skin all over and causing her to cry out in pain and terror. Ugh So I m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and Russian y stuff and bad ass chicks, and so I when I read the blurb, a BB retelling set in a vaguely Russian sounding place with Belle as a hunter out to get Beast, fuck yeah, give it to me baby.Luckily, I was not disappointed This book was awesome It had everything I wanted The traditional elements of the original tale are there, and I do mean the original tale, not the Disney version, but adapted to a Russian like setting It is familiar and comforting, in a different setting, and my love for the classic tale is such that I never get tired of the variations Some of the welcome difference in the book is that Gaston Solmir is actually a really nice guy I was rooting for him and Belle Yeva s sisters are really nice again, a welcome change Yeva, her sisters, and father live together with their widowed father, leading a comfortable life She, however, longs for the woods and the hunt She knows she will have to marry, but it s a prospect to which she does not look forward She could remain unmarried, but to do so would make her a financial burden to her father To marry would be to leave the wood forever, surrendering what little freedom she still had. Due an unfortunate loss of a trade caravan, their entire fortune was lost It is a devastating blow, and they will have to return to the forest, where he had lived before marrying their late mother They bore the loss of their fortune resolutely and bravely, but there is no doubt that it is overwhelming to them all She had seen the spirit die in her father s eyes He sat doubled over, looking up at her like a man of eighty How long could he continue to hunt He had not had to provide for himself, much less a family, solely by hunting in nearly twenty years.A chunk of ice detached itself from the roof and slid off, scraping loudly across the sniffles and sobs punctuating the quiet Winter was coming fast. Their new home is cold, strange, and wild Something lurks in the forests, slowly driving her father mad With her father gone, Yeva wanders back into the forest to hunt, reveling in the freedom, until she is captured and chained by the Beast But she is no weakling, and she knows what she must do I am the captive of the monster who killed my father, she thought with sudden crystal clarity.She hadn t left her sisters behind for nothing She hadn t tracked her father and discovered him dead, only to die herself the captive of a Beast.She knew now why she was here She would see the monster dead. I ve been told that this is also based on another Russian fairy tale, but what it reminds me of is Thousand and One Nights, Scheherazade s tale Like Scheherazade, Yeva tells her captor of her life, tells him tales, to keep him entertained and to keep her own sanity This is no tale of Beauty wearing pretty clothes in the castle during her imprisonment Our Beauty is a hunter and she uses her skills, hunting and learning aside Beast The romance is almost nonexistent throughout most of the story, as it should be And yes, there is a sense of Stockholm Syndrome, but come on, have you read the original tale and the Disney version The important thing here is that their friendship and eventually, their romance, is believable a slow burn.I just really like this book Even Solmir Gaston squee Solmir was silent, watching her Beyond him and around him the peony leaves fell, drifting to and fro like feathers on the wind Yes, Yeva thought I could love him.But though she struggled not to, she found herself listening with all her might for the tiniest glimmer of a song in him, of the magic the Beast had taught her to hear.

  3. says:

    4.5 I really really enjoyed this I normally like my fantasy books to have a lot of action and this one definitely lacked that but it worked really well because it read exactly like a fairy tale, which is perfect as this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling This one stuck a bit closer to the Disney version original fairy tale than others I have read while also taking a unique spin on it which I thought was very neat Overall an awesome retelling ARC provided for review by Indigo Books Music Inc as I am an Indigo employee

  4. says:

    Tale as old as time Except.Yeah, this is not that Beauty and the Beast.This Beauty is a bit less sing y and a bit stabby Which is a pretty nice change of pace, to be honest Plus, this time around, it isn t the villagers who are out to kill the Beast, it s Beauty, herself She s a hunter A badass hunter And because insert spoilery reasons here she s on a mission to take a chunk out of his supernatural hide Of course, killing him means she s gotta stay on as his Guest prisoner while she looks for the chink in his armor that will allow her to take her revenge Then, after a cute montage, they fall in love, right Uhhhhhh No.The romance is so slow to build that even the characters are clueless until the very end And even then what brings them together is of a mutual understanding of each other A recognition of someone with the same wants and needs with the same sort of big gaping hole in their soul.You know, kinda like real life So what happens when the last petal falls Oh Well, there s not any enchanted fucking rose in this one Soooo Yeah.But Beauty sure does take her sweet ass time getting back to the castle to try to break the spell In fact, she takes so much time that spoilery shit happens Oh my god Do they ever get to do that fancy twirly dance in the ballroom Ok, this was a lovely romance, but the goal of this tale isn t that your life will be complete when you find your prince or princess The moral of the story is this There s nothing magical over the horizon that is going to make you happy There s no person that can complete you, no task that once you finish will give you perfect satisfaction and no point in your life where you can breathe that sigh of relief and live happily ever after Life justis Until it isn t.Try to enjoy the times that aren t horrible because there will be horrible times , and stop waiting on insert that thing you think will make you happy here to happen before you let yourself be satisfied.Bone deep happiness is of a choice than most people realize, and if you re able to choose it you ll be far better off than most.

  5. says:

    Another anticipated release Another unpopular opinion Beware the spoilers Lo and behold, Fifty Shades of Beast Note My reference of 50 shades of Beast is not about this book having an explicit content There s no sex it s a YA story in its usual they kissed and the screen went blank My reference is about how disturbing and unrealistic I find what characters have between them, and there s nothing romantic I can see about it A very strong case of Stockholm Syndrome worse than in the original, as here the Beast kidnaps, chains Beauty in the dungeon and threatens to kill her relatives if she doesn t obey him Their relationship reminds of Master Slave one, where a person doesn t have a choice but to do what their master says.Somewhere in the wilderness of um, where are we Is this suppose to be some kind of imaginary world or a real one Russian wilderness Or Europe or America Stop, did they say Constantinople Mongols Rather than these two titles, there was nothing specific So this is 15th century of what country If the author aimed for Russian, then it s an epic fail, because there s nothing distinctive about Russian culture except for name Galina and Russian fairy tales heroine s father was telling her since she was a child 100 pages into the book and still no distinctive picture of where the hell the book takes place Insert any place and any language you wish and it will work Heck, insert moon and it ll work as this book s setting Hello, non existent world building Beauty aka Dummy I am so wild, I don t want to be a gentle lady, give me my bow and arrows and I ll run about happily shooting poor creatures in the forest Sisters But we must learn to be ladies It s 15th not 21th century We can t just run about wild and uncaring about our future Father Oh children, we are poor, all my ships are gone and our money with them Now we have to travel into wilderness to live in our family shag, wherever the fuck this wilderness is located Sisters Oh god, we are ruined No one will marry us now without status and money Beauty aka Dummy Yahoo, we are poor, and now I won t have to marry Fuck my poor sisters and my ruined father, I ll run about in the dirt and hug pigs and will be so happyyyyy After a long trip, they are finally in the ass of the world wherever it is Father I ll go hunting Beauty, I forbid you to go after me, stay home and take care of your sisters a week or so passes Solmir aka Gaston Hi, Beauty, I came to make you my wife I was in love with you for a long time I ll give you all the freedom you want, we ll hunt together, we ll travel together, we ll do whatever you want And when it s time for me to come back and become the Baron, you will be by my side beloved and cared for Beauty aka Dummy It s tempting, but I am such a feminist, I want to live in God s ass of nowhere, hunt sweet creatures every day, and roll with pigs in the dirt Why would I marry someone likeable and sweet like you are if I have my pigs Solmir goes away but comes back the next day and the next one and so on Beauty aka Dummy Ok, Solmir, I will marry you, because, though, I am a Dummy, but even I can see that you are actually a decent person and I like you, but first I must go find my absent father I ll go alone to the middle of nowhere Solmir aka Gaston But..but maybe it s reasonable to go together It s dangerous alone out there, don t you think, Beauty Beauty aka Dummy Nonsense What could happen to a girl with only a bow for protection in the middle of winter god knows where Besides, you ll spoil my meeting with my love interest 2 The Beast Go home, be a househusband while I hunt the Beast some freezing time later Beauty aka Dummy I am alone And there are eerie sounds everywhere and, look, blood I just pissed myself but I am such an independent woman I can t go back until I find out where the blood trail leads to finds her dead father and is attacked by the Beast Beast aka Gothic lunatic We are such a Byronic tragic figure We hunt We kill We compose poetry We need a girl for our Beast y shady business Beauty regains consciousness Beauty aka Dummy Oh, where am I Why am I chained in some stinky dungeon Who did this to me Voice behind the door Hey you, are you okay Beauty aka Dummy Oh friend, I am so happy I am not alone Voice behind the door I am not your friendrrrr Beauty aka Dummy But you are, I am so alone here, and you are helping me while someone chained me in this stinking dungeon Let me tell you a fairy tale while we wait for our nasty captor to return Voice behind the door Um, ok a few fairy tales later Voice behind the door Put this blindfold over your eyes Beauty aka Dummy Oh, my friend, your voice is full of richness and depth, I can t disobey it And, though, you are a stranger and I haven t seen you, I ll trust your sexy voice to not lead me back into the forest to kill me I know you are going to save me from whoever put me in this stinking dungeon Voice behind the door You know nothingrrrr

    Sorry, I couldn t resist snickers Beast aka Gothic lunatic She tells us stories, she let s us touch her and doesn t flinch from us Our den smells so nice of her Urrr, we want to eat her, but we wouldn t, because we need to play mind fucking games with our prey Beauty aka Dummy I know you are shy and that s why you don t want me to see your face, not because you are some vile creature that abducted me and put me in chains I am your friend, please, show me your pretty, pretty face Voice behind the door Norrrr takes off the blindfold anyway Beauty aka Dummy gasp it s you the Beast who kidnapped and dragged me and chained me in this stinky dungeon Beast aka Gothic lunatic Finally you Dummy added two and two together Now I can tell you that I need you for some shady Beast y business I ll train you myself You ll be the master BDSM when I am done with you Beauty aka Dummy What Beast aka Gothic lunatic Get up or I ll kill you No, better I ll kill your family, the one you told me about when you was a Dummy and thought I was your friend Beauty aka Dummy How dare you Beast Un Beasthandle me now Beast aka Gothic lunatic We both know you love my paws Beauty aka Dummy I am an independent woman and I ll kill you Beast Beast aka Gothic lunatic I love me some foreplay Now, go train Beauty aka Dummy Don t command me as if I were your property Beast aka Gothic lunatic You are minerrrrr Beauty aka Dummy You may have me captive, you may control when I leave, piss or eat, or how long I am allowed to live You may be my master Dominant, but you do not own me Beast aka Gothic lunatic Um, are you serious, Dummy awkward silence Beauty aka Dummy Ok, I might admit that you actually own me after all And some part of me actually likes it I look into your beasty eyes and see a sexy human boy in their depth I think I can work with that some shady beast y training later Beauty aka Dummy What are you doing in my room in the middle of the night, Beast Beast aka Gothic lunatic I am a Byronic tragic figure, I need to brood in the middle of the night in a maiden s room so she would fall in love with me they always do when I pull that trick Beauty aka Dummy Oh, it s so romantic, I like it beast y foreplay later Beast aka Gothic lunatic I think Stockholm Syndrome finally kicked in Now I can let you go home Beauty, because we both know you ll be running back to me in no time Who is your master Dominant Beauty aka Dummy You, Beast, but I didn t tell you that flutters eyelashes I am such a feminist, I don t need men for anything, I ll play coy and go home, because I, at least, need to pretend not to care, and then after some angsty alone time I ll come to you as an independent woman, and we ll finally deal with your shady Beast y business blows a kiss and gallops away astride a unicorn THE END.Okay, it s actually not the end, but we all know how this story ends, and besides I DNFed this book at about 50% and just skipped to the end and, yup angst, angst, angst and then a Happily Beast y After I get that the author was aiming for the darker version of the Beauty and the Beast, but the whole Stockholm Syndrome case was such a kill joy Plus the logic behind characters actions, especially the heroine s, killed the book for me Add to that the non existent world building, and, overall, I didn t enjoy the book at all Why give two stars then Well, the writing was nice, and this is not the worst or the most ridiculous book I ve read this year Just not my cup of tea, mostly.

  6. says:

    screams from rooftop Hunted is the BEST Beauty and the Beast retelling I have EVER read Guys, I know I am super late to the party on this one I think I am probably the only BB superfan left to read this Why did I wait this long, you ask Because I am horrible at life obviously.I listened to the audiobook of this and I will definitely be buying a hard copy because I absolutely plan to reread this someday The most impactful aspect of this for me was the atmosphere It was so well written Dark, gothic and dangerous I felt cold, I felt alone, I felt hunted It was spectacular Set in Russia and I definitely felt like it was a nice blend of the classic Beauty and the Beast with Peter and the Wolf I used to have the record version of the Peter and the Wolf symphony as a child and I listened to it all the time I played classic violin, perhaps that makes that fact make sense This book brought back strong memories of listening to that It is such a feeling.I loved the twists to Beauty s character in this as well That was another really strong aspect for me I loved how independent, strong, willful and brave she was She was not a damsel in distress Nope, not our girl she was a badass, who though scared, did whatever she had to do for vengeance and that s the kind of heroine I live for Then, of course, we have the Beast We get his perspective in small parts throughout the book and I found them very interesting He was absolutely darker than the Beast of the Disney version but no less compelling in my opinion Along with him, of course, comes the castle fallen into ruin and the hostage situation and the Stockholm Syndrome love tropeand it was so good I just ate it right up I suppose for some this book may seem slow, it is not nonstop action, but for me the flow was absolutely perfect The pace helped to set up the atmosphere it contributed to the feeling and I felt it was flawless.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves retellings, particularly if you are into dark, gothic or stabby things More stabby than lovie This could be the book for you Original Review A classic tale of love via Stockholm Syndrome.Seriously though this book my favorite retelling of all time I was shocked by how much I truly enjoyed itDark, dangerous, replete with myth folklore full review to comestay tuned

  7. says:

    REVIEW TO COME TODAY Me sighs Person are you okay Me yeah, I m just disappointed Me facepalm And as Yeva scanned the walls, each one lined with shelves and each one full of leather bound books, at least a hundred books, than sheknew existed in one place, she felt her heart might simply burst I truly don t know why I didn t really like this book Maybe it s because I was in reading slump while reading it or maybe it was just the book that wasn t really interesting the reason is either of them Before I read this book, I kind of had high expectations about it because I heard so many great things about it and even though, retelling is not one of my favorite genres, I still like reading it I was so excited when I first started reading it, like really really excited THE BLURB SOUNDED GOOD TO ME This was what I felt when I began reading it I was excited and the beginning of the book was pretty good.but then the I read it, the I realized that this book didn t meet my expectations I thought this book would be action packed, but it wasn t there re several action scenes in this book but it s not enough and oh my God, there were a lot of information and too much talking and NOT ENOUGH ACTION SCENES I READ THIS BOOK JUST BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE ACTION PACKED OH AND I CERTAINLY DON T NEED THE DRAMA BETWEEN YEVA SOLMIR ASENKA UGH I m going to speak about them but I have to put spoiler tag on it, because I m afraid someone would be spoiled SPOILER view spoiler Look, I don t need the drama between Yeva Solmir Asenka Like why didn t Solmir and Asenka just end up together without involving Yeva this drama is so fucking unnecessary and I hate it so much when a romance involves with a guy and two girls but the two girls are sisters.I don t know whether Solmir loves Yeva or not at the beginning of the story but I am sure that he has feelings for her at the beginning of the story, for he proposes her and then when Yeva goes into the woods and she doesn t come back for almost a year because she is held captive by the beast and when she comes back, Yeva realizes something is wrong with Solmir and that is because he has fallen in love with Asenka and he even asked Asenka to marry him, months ago, when they believed Yeva was died but Asenka refused the proposal because she knew Yeva was alive and she would come back and Asenka wouldn t betray her sister and after that Solmir and Yeva broke their promises and then Asenka and Solmir end up together in the end because they love each other SO THE QUESTION IS, WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT OF THAT DRAMA IT SO FUCKING POINTLESS I AM SO MAD I know that Yeva does not love Solmir the way Asenka loves him, even at the beginning of the story Yeva does not even love Solmir but seriously this drama is so fucking pointless I HATE IT SO MUCH hide spoiler

  8. says:

    Full Review UpdateGuys I m so sad I didn t love it Don t get me wrong, I totally see why others did, and I m in the minority for this one.I m not going to type a summary on this one because well, it s a Beauty and the Beast retelling Some parts were close to the original, and other parts deviated quite a bit In my opinion, it was the wrong parts Here s the thing I m super biased I grew up with Beauty and the Beast and I just hold it in such a high regard so it s hard for me to love retellings unless they are as emotionally connected as the first.The story starts off SOOOO slow It s literally everyone doing normal actions for a good chunk of it One thing I did love right off the bat was Beauty s connection to her family She adores her father and sisters and there is such mutual love and acceptance However, very little happens as the story progresses If I m remembering correctly, the BtB storyline doesn t even start until like 30 35% But okay, I m fine with slower start if they are imperative for character development, but eek it was boring.Anyway, once the main storyline did start, I just didn t feel it I felt like there was no chemistry between Beauty and the Beast It supposedly took place over months and there was hardly any conversations or interaction between them I guess I just wanted However, I DID love the scene where she sneaks into his room to try and kill him So there s that It did finally make me feel something for the beast But really that was it Whatever, I could have held out and still been quite happy with the book just based on the pretty writing and the folklore aspects if the end had followed through But whaaat What even happened Okay so Beauty went back to her family and literally stayed there for months while she knew she needed to save the beast But she s all like Oh hey I ll leave tomorrow it s fine That literally happened about 10 times and next thing you know, it s months later Please Are you serious right now And then the actual end where she goes to find the Beast what even happened I don t even know BUT the one thing I did love was how the story with her sisters wrapped up So there s that.Soooo all in all I was pretty disappointed, but there were some good points that I kinda brushed over Like I said, the writing was lovely, the forest description was really cool, and the folklore aspect was what had me in such high hopes for the ending Also, the whole captor vs captive thing can be so tricky to navigate but the author handled it really well I saw no sketchy issues there.Anyway, all in all, it wasn t really for me, but don t let this deter you Try it out for yourself My Blog Instagram Twitter Etsy

  9. says:

    A wolf and a man A woman and a dragon Hunter and hunted Nothing in this world has only one nature This is a slightly obscure, yet wonderfully so, retelling of Beauty and the Beast, my preferred fairytale of all existing ones.Yeva is a huntress She loves it She loves the feel of finding prey and hunting it She is her father s daughter But her sisters do not understand her love of hunting, and when it s time to choose a husband, who will accept her as she is Who will share her unconventional hobby Given her undaunted nature, it s no surprise she is the first one to propose to go after her father when the latter fails to come home Leaving the man who loves her with the entirety of his heart, or so he claims, to care for her two sisters, she goes after her father.And encounters the Beast.The story progresses with slowness, but its elegant writing will make it that you will enjoy every second of it It takes a while for the story to show us how original it can be because until then, there are countless similarities to the fairytale as we know it or retellings we have read previously, such as A Court of Thorns and Roses and Beauty A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Hunted does, however, introduce new elements to the fairytale Yeva is presented as a courageous, fearless huntress who will stop at nothing to avenge her father She is romanticized to some extent because although she is steel, steel can be melted Regardless, she stands her own and tries to do what she thinks is right with determinacy.When I speak of new elements, I am mainly referring to the Russian fairytale Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, which is weaved into the story Quite a surprising turn of events this story brings, let me tell you.I am also referring to a certain beautiful theme this author illustrates Everyone pursues happiness it s in our nature We all want to live a happy life But what does make us happy exactly When do we know we ve reached the happiness we were meant to This novel is written in the third person point of view, but interestingly enough, we have numerous, though short, first person point of views from the Beast itself Though they may appear confusing to the reader at first, they add a certain lyrical quality to the story So I definitely would never think to get rid of them.I can t see why any lover of fairytale retellings should miss on this book.Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin

  10. says:

    She was so tired after all Tired of fairy tales, and magic, and empty castles Tired of wanting so intensely that she didn t know what she wanted Da da da DAAA Please allow me to introduce you to the FIFTH La Belle et la B te retelling that I ve read I know it s a lot But it s my favourite faery tale Let s see Beastly by Alex Flinn, Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and now Hunted by Meagan Spooner D Some I ve loved, some I ve liked, and some I ve hated, but I m happy to announce that Hunted falls under the loved category Agh I m so happy, right now This was amazing I know I know what you re thinking Do we really need another La Belle et la B te retelling Well, let me tell you the answer is a resounding yes Hunted is now my second favourite retelling of this faery tale, closely following Cruel Beauty, of course But, ugh Why did I put this off for so long I was going to pick it up after The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, but decided against it, after not enjoying it stupid me Russian faery tales definitely seem to be hit or miss with me, but I m so relieved that Hunted turned out to be a hit D It was also extremely unputdownable one chapter, one chapter, one chapter, etc While following the familiar structure of the Disney movie that defined the childhoods of many, Spooner also manages to make this a very new and fresh take, in the same token In fact, rather than keeping the story true to its origins by setting it in France, it takes place here in rural, medieval Russia Like Hodge s Cruel Beauty, which integrated other tales into the story, such as Perrault s Bluebeard and Greek mythology, Hunted integrates Russian folklore, as well Two main stories drive the plot of Hunted Gabrielle Suzanne de Villeneuve s La Belle et la B te French and Alexander Afanasyev s Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf Russian The French one provides the main framework that we recognise as the readers of this story, but the Russian one is constantly referenced by the characters themselves I really enjoyed the tale within a tale format.In addition, the language itself was hauntingly beautiful, sucking me in and making me constantly think that I was sitting in a snowy castle in the dead of Russian winter, only for me to look up from my book and see Halloween decorations outside my window, which was quite shocking, to say the least To the girl who reads by flashlight who sees dragons in the clouds who feels most alive in worlds that never were who knows magic is real who dreams This is for you From the moment that I read the dedication above, I was utterly entranced with this novel This reinterpretation of the classic tale presents a slow cat and mouse game of Beauty, the huntress, and Beast, the hunted Here, Beauty is no meek damsel in distress, waiting to be saved Here, she s the one who saves her prince from a tragic curse Gaston is not the hunter, in this tale Beauty Yeva is A devourer of faery tales, she simultaneously loves the power and freedom that comes with hunting her prey in the woods Like many protagonists we ve come across in the past, she is resistant to marriage at such a young age, and feels misunderstood by those closest to her, especially her sisters While they accept her unconventional and unladylike hobby, they also support her and whatever makes her happy More than anything else, I enjoyed the familial bonds in this novel In addition, Yeva has the most loyal dog, Doe Eyes, by her side, who was the true MVP here One night, when her father fails to return home from hunting, she resolves to find him and encounters the Beast Eovyn , who is an actual WOLF snout, tail, and all Wanting to avenge her father and return to her sisters, she decides to take over her father s mission and hunt the seemingly unkillable Beast herself Held captive in his castle, she takes advantage of her situation and bides her time, in order to expose his weaknesses and finally have her revenge But is anything in life ever that easy One aspect of this novel that I LOVED was the slow burn romance And by slow burn, I mean there isn t a hint of romantic feelings between Yeva and Eovyn until the very last few chapters Even they didn t know what was happening until it hit them Rather, their relationship is grounded in friendship and trust I wouldn t even say that there are elements of Stockholm Syndrome, as Yeva recognises that the two of them are quite dysfunctional She tried to kill him repeatedly and he kept her prisoner for months Neither one of them were wholly good or bad They both had very light and dark parts of themselves that came out in certain situations They have a mutual understanding of each other and recognise that they were the missing pieces in each other s lives and I think that it was just beautiful 3 She wept because she did not know what she wanted, and because she wanted everything The most prominent theme here is wanting Beauty wants a bigger life, a bigger world, a bigger adventure a bigger everything Like many who experience wanderlust, she is unsatisfied with what she has and wants from her existence She can t quite put her finger on it, but she has an inexplicable longing for something I, for one, also feel this way I want something out of life, but I don t precisely know what it is As such, I highly recommend this to fans of La Belle et la B te and other Russian faery tales It s definitely being added to my favourites list D

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