Entreat Me by Grace Draven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Grace Draven can literally do no wrong in my reader's eyes considering this is third book by her that I've 5 starred. This was a twisty, sinister, magical, loose interpretation of Beauty and the Beast. I'll actually take this version over my favourite Disney film, so this is high praise.
Ballard is the beast, but not in the way you might envisage before dipping your toe into this book. The curse, the beast-incarnate is both sinister and attractive. There is clever mastery in Draven's ability to create supposed unattractive even revolting men and she then doesn't make them handsome to sort the ugliness out, she makes their character, the inside, something so compelling and desirable. Ballard did 'it' for me, it's that simple.
"Wife of my soul."
Lou was a funny woman, half-shrew, yet noble, full of integrity with fierce, fierce love. I came to admire her hugely. This book was peppered left and right with amazing side characters of differing importance, Ambrose, Gavin, Cinnia and more.
I feel like the magic in this book was a character in itself. It scared me in it's evil intent. It's use of nature and Ballard's body set a shivering context. The chapter beginning illustrations just enhanced everything, they were excellent.
I need to own this book in paperback. I will read it again. I think this author is most fabulous and I love her writing for her men, her humour, the bite of sarcasm and complex but inviting stories. All hail Draven!
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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