Beastkeeper | Review

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from. 

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive. 

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

– From the publisher || Add it on Goodreads

So, I'll be honest here. I don't exactly like the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. It's a little too much like Stockholm syndrome for me. But it also has some great themes of redemption, and not judging people by their appearances. I'm not saying I hate the story – I just don't like some of the elements in it. So I usually skip the retellings of this particular fairy tale.

However, when my sister recommended Beastkeeper to me, I decided to give it a try because she said it was good. And it is good. It's a refreshingly different take on the story. It's also incredibly engrossing. I absolutely love the prose, the descriptions are gorgeous and original, and it has just a hint of something dark and mysterious. It was the perfect style for this story.

Since Sarah is the character who was cursed, I was interested to see how the author would handle the change in roles. In short, she does a fantastic job. All the familiar elements were there, but they were reshaped, given a different purpose, and woven into a unique and spellbinding book. And it didn't have anything suggestive of Stockholm syndrome in it, so that was a relief. There were a few things I didn't like, but overall it was a great book.

I won't say much about the story, because of spoilers, but, oh my, that plot twist at the ending! That ending left me surprised, really surprised. I was amazed at the character development in Sarah. She makes some incredibly difficult decisions, but the does what's right. She is a character who is both strong and good. 

Beastkeeper left me with things I'm still thinking about: forgiveness, doing what's right, and what it is that makes us truly human.


What's your favorite kind of fairy tale retelling? Do you prefer the ones that change the setting and characters a lot, or do you like the more traditional ones? What are some of your favorite retellings?


  1. "It's a little too like Stockholm syndrome for me."

    YES! YES!!! This is exactly my feelings on it! My personal favorite fairytales are Sleeping Beauty and the Buried Moon, which is an obscure one. : ) I always thought they would be fun combined... Love the review! : )

    1. Yes, it's not my favorite, although it does have some good themes... I've never heard of Buried Moon, the title sounds intriguing!

      Thanks, glad you liked the review! :)

  2. I've never heard of anyone not liking Beauty and the Beast, so it was very interesting to read your take on it. And this does sound like an interesting twist on the story!

    I don't typically like fairy-tale retellings all that much, though I've only read a few. The characters tend to be too immature for me to connect with, or not well-developed, or there's just not enough detail in general. But I don't think I'll give up on them quite yet, because I loved Shantelle Mary Hannu's retelling of Cinderella (A Dream Not Imagined).

    Also, on a completely different note, I really like your new profile picture!

    1. Yes, I really liked what the author did with the fairy tale, it was pretty original.

      That's true about a lot of fairy tale retellings, they don't have much character development, and the stories are short on originality. I've heard about A Dream Not Imagined, it sounds like a great book, I need to add it to my to-read list.

      Aww, thanks!

  3. This sounds like an awesome book! I'll have to check it out. Great review :)

    1. Thanks! It's a really neat book, I hope you like it!


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