The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince
By Serena Valentino
Hi! Have you ever heard the story of Beauty and the Beast? Well, that story is based on Belle’s point of view, is it not? The Beast Within is based on the Beast’s point of view. In this book, there is no evil enchantress that comes and curses the Beast. The Beast does get cursed, yes, but not by an evil enchantress. Let me show you what I mean. If you’ll just listen closely and follow along, then I’ll tell you how the Beast really got cursed to be the Beast.
It all started with love. The prince (before he was the Beast) was in love with a young woman named Circe. She was the most beautiful of all the land. One day, the prince’s most dear friend, Gaston, had told him she was the daughter of a pig farmer, but the prince didn’t believe him. One day, he went over to see if it was true, and it was. Circe was feeding the pigs. He got angry that she hadn’t told him that she was a pig farmer.
All of a sudden, she turned into this beautiful enchantress. Then out of nowhere, two of Circe’s ugly sisters appeared before the prince. Circe gave the prince the curse that he must change his ways or he would turn into a beast. And he must love another and earn their love in return, and it must be sealed with a kiss, or after his twenty-first birthday, he would remain a beast forever.
Months had passed and the prince didn’t believe Circe about her curse. There was no change yet. The prince’s good friend, Gaston, said to take his mind off of things, they should have a grand ball and he should invite all the maidens. When the prince got to the ball, he saw the maiden he had been wanting, Princess Tulip Morningstar. He asked her hand for engagement and she said yet. After the ball was over, the Prince invited him to spend the week at his castle, and she said yes.
During her visit, the prince showed Princess Tulip a very secret surprise. He thought they had earned each other’s love, so he was going to seal it with a kiss. The surprise was his beautiful garden. She walked around the hedge and saw the prince waiting there. The prince asked, “Will you kiss me?” She said yes. They kissed, but the prince’s curse was not broken. (See, he had started to turn into the beast – he was growing older and it had only been a few months. And he was turning older by the second.)
All of a sudden, they heard a noise. The prince checked to see what it was and some animals that looked like bushes attacked him. He came back with this big, bloody mark. The prince blamed the princess for it and sent her and her nanny home. He was turning into a beast.
Meanwhile, at Circe's home, the sister's began to laugh because the Prince had accused Princess Morningstar when they could see that she really did love him, but he didn’t love her. Will one of the sisters show mercy on the prince and let him live? Or will the beast be cursed to a dreadful life for a long time? As I always say, read the book to find out!
I recommend this book to readers who can take some suspenseful moments and joyous moments and overwhelming moments in one book. If you cannot take a lot of moments at once, try not to read this. At one point in the book, you feel angry at the prince, sad for the princess, and overwhelmed with it all at the same time. If you cannot handle stuff like this, this is not your type of book. Check out this website to see if there are some other books that you might like.
A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:
“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor): This book had just a few scary parts. It’s not as scary as Beauty and the Beast. There are different things that happen in that book.
“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor): There were a few parts, like when they kiss in the garden.
I give this book 5 wands.
I would have given it 5 ½ if only it weren’t so overwhelming at times. But, trust me, it was really good! My favorite part was probably when Ursula’s name got mentioned. I thought it was really cool that another Disney character showed up in this book! And I don’t think that was plagiarizing – this book came from Walt Disney World!