Beasts and Beauty puts a fresh spin on everyone’s favorite fairytales

Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani. Image courtesy MB Communications
Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani. Image courtesy MB Communications /

You think you know the story of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Bluebeard, but really, you have no idea. At least not if you’re about to read Soman Chainani’s Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales. The author throws a wrench in the stories we’ve all grown up on and makes them feel brand new.

There are 12 fairytales covered in the collection. It includes “Red Riding Hood”, “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Rapunzel”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Bluebeard”, “Cinderella”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Rumpelstiltskin”, and “Peter Pan”.

While all the stories have wonderful twists, my favorites are “Red Riding Hood”, “Rapunzel”, “Snow White”, “Hansel and Gretel”, and “Bluebeard”.

“Red Riding Hood” has a twist that will have you stomping your foot against the patriarchy, “Snow White” will have you rooting for the girl who doesn’t fit in, and Rapunzel has the most perfect ending I could possibly imagine. Let’s just say she escapes the tower but not for the reason you might think.

Chainani’s Beasts and Beauty puts unique spin on classic fairytales

“Beauty and the Beast” takes a wickedly dark turn (you will not be prepared) as does “Bluebeard”. But despite being dark, Bluebeard has an amazing ending. Even with the amount of death, you’ll probably be smiling by the final page.

“The Little Mermaid” is the perfect anecdote for anyone who has watched the Disney movie and thought “why is she running away for a man she just met?”

As for “Hansel and Gretel”, it has the same spirit as the original but with a whole new take on the two siblings. The witch in the candy house is not who you think she is.

If you are a fan of fairytale retellings (like me), you won’t be able to put this book down. The stories have the same atmospheric vibe as the old stories, but the new twists make them so much more compelling.

Why does Rapunzel need to be saved by and marry a prince when she’s fine on her own? What if Red Riding Hood can conquer the monsters in the woods? And what if Snow White and the 7 dwarves can stop a cycle of loss, discrimination, and abuse? You’ll have to read and find out!

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales by Soman Chainani is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.

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