Title: Quest for a Beast
Author: Sarah Holman
Major Themes: Fairy Tales, Retellings
Synopsis: As Adara and her brother set off on a quest to find the notorious local thief, can they learn to accept each other as they are in order to succeed?
I’m beginning to really appreciate short stories. They’re quick, generally easy to read, and are often that perfect “story” fix without having to be sucked into a book for hours (although those are way too fun too!). Quest for a Beast, a beauty and the beast retelling, is one such fun story. Although I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have liked other books, it did have a good message in it and shared the original tale in an interesting new light.
Adara’s brother, Jasper, has found an adventure for himself and a few cronies. With their parents away, Adara feels just a little responsible for her brother, and when he decides to take off for a couple days she decides she must accompany him—guys only party or no. As they begin a hike through a dense forest in an attempt to capture one of the most notorious thieves of the county, Adara realizes she’ll also need to care for a little four-year-old disabled child who has been dragged along into the foray. As the group encounters troubles through their hike, they must learn to depend on each other—or find their own way. When one of them tries making advances on Adara, will anyone defend her? And will they accomplish their goal, or find their pursuit to be a dead-end lead?
Quest for a Beast is an interesting, albeit slightly unrealistic story. I did enjoy it though, and the ending was pretty fun. The troubles they faced along the way were somewhat unique too, although the resolutions to those were mostly predictable. In all, I liked the fact that it was a fairy tale retelling and for the light nature of the reading. Sometimes an easy-going nearly predictable book is just what you want. For that aspect, and for the fact that it did have a dash of “Christianity” in it, I recommend the story.
WARNING: In chapter 4, one of the characters threatens another quite severely. Also in chapter 4 the phrase “torn and bleeding flesh” is used.
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above