Review of BEAUTY by SARAH PINBOROUGH
(third in the TALES FROM THE KINDGOMS series)
With BEAUTY you get exactly what’s advertised: a dark twist on familiar fairy tales. For anyone sick of fairy tale twists, well, I don’t expect it’s for you, but for readers like myself who genuinely feel too many fairy tale twists isn’t a thing, this novel a skillful addition to a growing collection of varied perspectives.
The primary fairy tale being retold here is "Sleeping Beauty." However, you will find elements of "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rumpelstiltskin," and "Beauty and the Beast," to name the most prominent influences. Do not forget that these novels are labelled “wicked” retellings. This is no cute, childish spin on sweet little fairy tales, but a dark, sinful twist on the bleaker originals behind the “Disneyed” version.
Aside from twisting fairy tales, I love some of the plot twists worked into this slim novel. The book succeeded in surprising me, and I loved discovering further layers to the interconnectedness of the various tales.
At less than 200 pages, this is a short, satisfying read. Thoroughly engaging and absorbing, I am relieved to say, that rather than a sensation that I lived the story, instead I felt more like I watched this dark tale unfold safely removed from the danger, as though through a magic mirror.