Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Belle Noir by Ava Zavora

Belle Noir Ava Zavora
Title: Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic
Author: Ava Zavora
Publication Date: June 3, 2013

Enter a world of dark beauty…

This collection of enchanting and disturbing stories ranging from fantasy to speculative fiction will leave you spellbound! (Includes retellings of Beauty and the Beast)

Transfigured - The Beast has changed back to a handsome prince, yet Beauty finds out that although some curses may be broken, they are never completely destroyed. 

No Loyal Knight and True – In this modern-day retelling of Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott, a boyhood encounter with an odd girl who lives in a tower alters the course of Ryan’s destiny. 

Belle Noir – Young Jane flees from her abusive father into a seemingly perfect marriage only to find that the darkest hearts are never revealed until it is too late. 

Grotesque - A woman hardened by a difficult past witnesses a horrifying tragedy and undergoes a magical transformation.

Mirabilis (A Novelette) - Rosaria's life changes the day the veiled and mysterious Lord Devlin hires her to cure him of a terrible curse. 


My Thoughts

A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

My favorite fairy tale at this point is Beauty and the Beast (I don't actually read many re-tellings but I love Beauty and the Beast), probably because it's one of the few that really drives in the point of true love. How they have learn to over come their first impressions and prejudices. How a person can change and just not physically, and how sometimes that just isn't enough.

Each story had a different tone to it and it's own writing style that went with the type of tale that was told. Really liked how it was done and how it came across. These tales don't all have a happy ending, they are realistic in that sense, even with the elements of magic thrown in. All the stories are actually pretty depressing, but I really liked them anyway.

My favorite one is Mirabilis followed by Transfigured. Even though all them are really short, and you are kind of just thrown in the middle of the story, you can still follow it through and even the world-building in each one was really well done. That's what drew me in with Mirabilis. It took place in a whole different fantastical place and even with its short length Zavora was able to capture this place's essence and weave a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I also really liked the retelling for The Lady of Shalott, anything that has to do with Camelot I love, and it was a nice treat to have the actual poem there as well. My least favorite were Grotesque and Belle Noir, both because they just death with really tough issues. Belle Noir specially because it highlights that the beast doesn't have to be physically deformed for it to actually be one, and what a beast it was!

What I really loved though were the endings in all of them. They end in such a way that you have to draw your own conclusions and even though they could be obvious ones they could end up being completely unexpected. It's really up to the reader to decide what kind of ending they would like to have.

Would I Recommend it?

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