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Hunted is a unique take on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
Yeva is not your ordinary Beauty character. Sure, she has all the markings of a typical Beauty character, but she is so much more than that. Yeva is a beast in her own right. She feels more comfortable in the wild of the woods than she does in her own home. The woods become her home and she becomes part of the woods.
“She came to know the forest again, finding it as familiar and as comfortable as an old friend.” (Spooner 2017, p. 56)
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite fairy tale because it’s different from the rest. Beauty steps out of gender stereotypes, while the beast is more of an anti-hero than a standard fairy tale prince. Spooner uses this theme in Hunted wonderfully.
One of the elements I most enjoyed in the novel was the journal-like entries from the Beast. Not only were they an interesting insight into the Beast’s psyche, they were beautifully presented on the page with the text written over images of the woods.
“She calls you beast, for that is what you are.” (Spooner 2017, p. 181)
Spooner merges fairy tale with Russian folklore to create this enchanting retelling of Beauty and the Beast.