The Beauty of the Wolf by Wray Delaney is an amazing re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. If you’ve enjoyed the first series of the Umbrella Academy on Netflix, I guarantee you will love this story.
‘What some might call beauty, I find monstrous’
In the age of the Faerie Queene, Elizabeth I, Lord Francis Rodermere starts to lay waste to a forest.
Furious, the sorceress who dwells there scrawls a curse into the bark of the first oak he fells:
A faerie boy will be born to you whose beauty will be your death.
Ten years later, Lord Rodermere’s son, Beau is born – and all who encounter him are struck by his great beauty.
Meanwhile, many miles away in a London alchemist’s cellar lives Randa – a beast deemed too monstrous to see the light of day.
And so begins a timeless tale of love, tragedy and revenge…
The Beauty of the Wolf by Wray Delaney is published by HQ and is available to purchase in digital, hardcover and audiobook formats. The paperback publishes 14th November 2019.
I loved this re-telling. During the time I was reading this story, it continued into my dreams…
The descriptions in The Beauty of the Wolf are so vibrant – plenty of times I wished I had a skill for drawing or painting so that I could bring the images to life. As much as I enjoyed scenes in the forest at Rodermere, I loved the time we spend in Elizabethan London more.
I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. My favourite personifications:
“Night had reached the hour when it wraps itself starless in its frozen cloth.”
“The bells of a distant church chime midnight, the unforgiving hour when yesterday tips what is best forgotten into the new day.”
Like all original fairy tales, The Beauty of the Wolf is dark and full of shadows. It invites us down the path of experiencing things that might make us feel uncomfortable by pushing us out of our comfort zones but offers so much reward in doing so. The moral is very fitting for contemporary life. What if the first time you looked in a mirror was in your teens? Would your outward appearance reflect who you were on an inner level? You’ll find the usual tropes but be prepared for twists.
An outstanding read.
Wray Delaney (writing for adults) is the pen name for children’s novelist Sally Gardner. Visit Sally Gardner’s website and find her on Twitter @TheSallyGardner.