"More than a simple fairy tale"
Enchanted Beauty begins like the familiar tale of Beauty and
the Beast. Annabelle goes to the local lord's enchanted
castle to free her father from indentured servitude and
volunteers to take his place to secure his release. Though
not a hairy beast, Malachi, the Lord of Markham and a
powerful wizard, bears terrible scars across his face. From
there the similarities with the fairy tale diminishes as the
story evolves into a more complex and interesting tale.
Annabelle has a malady of her own. A spell gone wrong has
left her nearly blind and slowly dying. What's more, she is
connected to the enemy wizard who was responsible for
causing Malachi's terrible scars. Enchanted Beauty plays up
the beast tamed by beauty theme on multiple levels with a
scared wizard who must find the beauty within himself, while
at the same time the story flips that around with another
physically sound, even handsome, wizard who has committed
some truly atrocious acts—a beast inside—then further with a
beautiful and compassionate Queen who isn't at all what she
seems. Even the war they are embroiled in isn't what it
seems. Annabelle's unique way of looking at people brings to
the surface what is really beautiful and what is truly
beastly. Unfortunately getting others to see it just might
require her life.
Enchanted Beauty is an enjoyable tale with lots of
unexpected twists and turns and layers, but at the very
heart is the satisfying love story involving a beautiful
woman with the ability to see beyond the outward ugliness of
a man with a noble heart.
Reviewed by Clover Autrey
Posted October 27, 2008