July 9, 2018

Review: The Beast of Ten by Beth Brower

Oh friends. I was SO not prepared for this story. At all! Having read, and loved, Ms. Brower's The Q, I couldn't resist checking this one out. I thought I might enjoy it and might even become drawn in. Oh, but! I was NOT expecting to become so entranced with Sperro and Ember that I could barely sleep because I couldn't wait to find out how things were going to end! Because of real life, it took me a few days to finish and, oh my goodness, how I squeezed in every available moment of time I could in order to read just a page or two more! Ms. Brower, I applaud you. You have outdone yourself and I cannot wait to see how you will top this with your next book. You have risen on my list of favorite authors and are now firmly entrenched in my top ten! But you aren't reading this review simply to watch me gush, are you? So I shall get on with it.

Where, oh where to begin? This story has similarities to Beauty and the Beast, but trust me when I say it is so much more than that! It is a fantastical look at darkness and light, and how those two things are constantly circling and drawn to each other. It is two people who are unprepared for the other to come into their life and what effect they'll have. It is a deep love that barely flickers during the first pages, yet despite everything that happens, every choice made to deny it, its growth is slow, steady, and beautiful to watch. It is heart-wrenching emotions, impossible choices, and a glorious testimony of redemption unlike anything I've ever read before.

But! It is not always a happy story. There are choices made which create chaos, bitterness, and rage. The "beastliness" of certain characters is menacing, the darkness powerful and tangible. And yet... The light is just as fierce! Hope is always weaving in and out of every moment and refuses to give up. And the battle between the two is simultaneously intense and fascinating. I simply could not look away, always on pins and needles to see which side pulled hardest. When I closed the final pages, it was with tears running down my cheeks and feeling utterly wrung out, yet gloriously inspired!

In short, this story is phenomenal. Sperro is a character I was fully prepared to hate, just as Ember was. And yet, my fascination grew steadily as the story progressed until he was firmly woven into my heart. I was as committed to him as Ember is and completely unable to prevent it. He is an incredibly well written character! And dearest Ember as well. This is a love story, yes, but not the sort you're thinking. Trust me though. You want to read this one! It is highly imaginative, with vivid descriptions (the world-building! Just wow!), and, to put it simply, utterly unforgettable. If you enjoy fantasy with a lot of depth, then I HIGHLY recommend this one! It's a keeper, folks, and that's putting it very mildly. :)

"Light is the only thing that grows stronger when darkness deepens," he continues as he goes back to work. "It is the way of things."

I shake my head. Too overwhelmed to mourn what might never be. It's such a singular weight--a wistful sorrow at best, the death of ten thousand promises at worst.

"That is the price of healing," my mother had once said, after having spent all afternoon patching up Hadspen's broken shoulder. "Once you have begun, you are not content until the one that was ill becomes whole."

1 comment:

  1. Sounds perfect! It’s hard to read one of your gushing reviews and not be tempted!


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