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?
“If you’re reading this book, then you’re also that child reading by flashlight and dreaming of other worlds. Don’t be scared of her, that inner Beauty, or her dreams. Let her out. She’s you, and she’s me, and she’s magic.”
The Beauty and the Beast aspect of this book kicked in a bit late for me. I was already at 50% when I really started feeling the vibe. However, at the same time, I also felt and A Court of Thorns and Roses vibe. Granted, they stem from the same retelling, but it kind of felt similar for me when it came to having another world with different magical creatures; how only Yeva could hunt and provide for her family, and such. I thought it was going to be problematic at first, but I realized that Hunted has a story of its own to tell, and the thought quickly vanished from my mind.
“We curse everything, for we are cursed, and we have no arms to shelter her and no lips to press to her hair and above all no words to tell her that we know loss and we know pain and if they were monsters we could fight we would have slain them in her name long ago like the heroes of old. But we are not a hero. We are cursed.”
My absolute favorite thing from this book is the Beast’s point of view. My goodness, they’re just a few short sentences, but they mean a lot. The words were straight to the point, but so full of meaning that I immediately connected with his character. They were only a few words, but the emotion behind them were so impactful. Also, I am someone who gets easily impatient by long narratives that seem pointless, so those short chapters really were perfect for me.
One of the things that makes or breaks a book for me to even considering giving it 4.5 or 5 stars is how much I could feel emotions from reading this book, and let me tell you that this book made me feel a lot of complex emotions. I was really both connected and invested in that characters and story, and I was really able to put myself in their shoes.
“Fairy tales are about lessons. Those who are virtuous and true are rewarded, while those who are wicked and greedy are punished.”
One of my complaints about this book is how unsatisfying the ending is, in the sense that I still want more. The ending was not crappy or anything like that, but I felt like there should be so much more. I felt like there could have been a little bit more extension of that ending. Of course, this may be totally for selfish reasons.
Overall, my love for this book grew gradually. I was wary of it at first, but it just became more and more amazing. The Beast’s POV is gold, and I was left wanting for more. Too bad there isn’t a sequel. Anyway, I recommend reading this, especially at the height of the movie remake of Beauty and the Beast (for those who need more of it).