Thursday, September 19, 2013

Knockout Challenge Review + Guest Post + Giveaway: Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic by Ava Zavora

Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic
Belle Noir: Tales of Love and Magic by Ava Zavora
Publication Date: June 3rd 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Format: Kindle
Source: Author
***Some stories contain mature subject matter. 18+***
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~

*was provided with a copy from author for an honest review*

I was excited when I read the blurb for this when the author came to me. I mean, who wouldn't be excited when 3/5 stories are retellings of beauty and the beast (my favorite fairy tale, by the way). So when I was able to get to it, I dived right in.
I read this back in July so this may be hard to review but I need to do this. Some things are memorable to me but truthfully I don't really remember the first two stories in this book. I remember the last three though so I'll talk some about them.
Belle Noir: was fast paced and I was surprised on where it was going. I hated where it was going because I'm really not a big fan on reading stories of child sexual abuse so this led me to be sour at the end of it.
Grotesque: was an okay read. Most of the time I felt disconnected from it but I did like that it was about gargoyles, it was a nice surprise (and twist, sorry)
Mirabillis: this was a novella and it was awesome. The time period I loved and what the actually beast looked like was definitely creative, I couldn't get enough and the most memorable.
Let’s see, I went back to the summary and read what the first two stories were. I remember them now but sadly this book isn't that memorable.
Transfigured: this was interesting and sad, completely different than the tale of beauty and the beast. I felt complete sympathy for our main girl. There’s a sex scene, so have fun with it lovers of this tale ;)
No Loyal Knight and True: this felt like Rapunzel more than anything and sadly, this story isn't about her. It was enjoyable but again I didn't know where things were going.
Overall this is an okay read. I don't regret it but I wished I would have liked it more. Sometimes sentences would go on and on, dragging to the point of my eyes getting tired. I couldn't believe how long some of them were, so that helped with me not quite enjoying it. These are adult themes so this is a forewarning. I knew it was but I was hoping one wouldn't lead to a child getting what she doesn't deserve, that man is truly a beast. So if that makes you uncomfortable then skip story number 3. Other than that, the rest can be read comfortably.

Gives you a good haunting

~About The Author~

Ava Zavora

In my childhood, I used to ride water buffaloes and wade in swamps. Nowadays, I write dark fairy tales and romantic novels about adventurous women.

Author Links:

~Guest Post~

Why did I write three retellings of Beauty and the Beast? I think my obsession with this fairy tale began when I first read Beauty by Robin McKinley. It is simply the finest retelling in existence, with prose so exquisite I get lost in its world every time I open the book. Beauty is my favorite book of all time, the one I have re-read more often than any other book
Of course I love Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – but I won’t admit to singing Be Our Guest and dancing around the kitchen like an enchanted spoon – nope, not me.
What makes Beauty and the Beast so compelling for me is that the Beauty saves the Beast rather than the other way around. Most fairy tales have the heroine waiting around to be rescued. Not so here. Secondly, at the heart of this fairy tale is this – we all want to be loved for who we are inside. We all yearn for someone who disregards the surface, no matter how ugly, to see the beauty in our souls. 
This theme is so rich and complex that once I started writing short stories, out of me bloomed all the distinct variations you find in my collection: Transfigured, Belle Noir, and Mirabilis.


Thanks for stopping by!

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