The Subtle Beauty

“Tell me about this Colin fellow, then.”
“He is kinder than you.”
“Really?”
“Yes, really. He is gentle and noble. He says my eyes are like agates.”
“Like rocks?” The gryphon pushed his head through the bush, his large fox-like ears close to his head. Glory glared him in the eye. She was put off by his stench, but utterly unafraid. “Ah, yes.” The gryphon seemed to smile. “I see.”
“He says my voice is like the skylark’s song.”
“Skylarks is it?” The gryphon’s ears perked. “I do like skylarks… they are delicious!”
Glory clenched her fists; heat rose to her face. “My hair is like the golden fleece captured by Jason from Colchis.”
“So he says your hair is like the dead hide of a castrated sheep. How quaint.”
Glory bit her lip and stomped her feet. “Even the Sun God worships me!”
The gryphon’s eyes flashed. His head cocked to the side, his mouth gaping a little. Glory could see his tongue rise and fall with his breath. For a moment she thought she had won.
“Forgive me, Princess, but I wish to retract the apology.”
Glory blinked.
“You are still ugly.”
“I am not ugly!” Glory screamed.

51ulTYUo6vL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Glory is the youngest of seven princess and she’s in love with Colin. But her father has decided that the cursed child Eoghan, son of the evil man Xander, will be her husband-to-be and announces it on the night of her sister’s wedding. The princess is going to elope with her beloved, but despite all, she ends up at Blackthorn Keep where prince Eoghan lives.

I really don’t have much to praise in this book, except the writing. The language was good and… well, that’s it. I feel it was lacking in description, so I can’t really say all of the writing was good. And the entire thing was really slow. It felt like nothing really happened or that nothing was moving forward and then suddenly you’re slapped in the face with the climax and EVERYTHING happens.

The characters lacked depth and would have needed to be fleshed out, and although dynamic they still managed to go about without any real development. I have no real idea how the world in this book looks like. I don’t really know how any of the characters look like, except that Glory is blonde and blue-eyed and fair-skinned (so I see a stereotypical Scandinavian girl when we speak of Glory, because I live in Sweden).

My favourite characters were Eoghan until Colin appeared at Blackthorn Keep and Rhun which seemed like a real nice horse. The other characters are based off 1) Beauty and the Beast, 2) the seven sins, 3) Celtic mythology, 4) probably some imagination. The premise was good, I give Hunter that much, but I felt the story flawed together with the lack of fleshed out characters. At least they were dynamic, but a dynamic character doesn’t equal depth. The character I felt had the most depth was Eoghan, but the others… not so much.

There are some good scenes, both dark and light, that either shows a little more depth to the characters or is a pretty well-done conversation, like the quote above. But, as I said the characters and the story lacked depth and I have absolute no image of the world, where all of these things that I read about, happened in.

In the end it was worth a try, but was not a successful one in my opinion. If you like a mash-up of things in a re-telling of a fairy tale and are into fantasy, you might feel the need to pick this up and you can get The Subtle Beauty right here. If not, perhaps you should avoid it. Not really a recommended book, I’m sad to say.


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