Cursed With Claws
Author: Asta Idonea
Title: Cursed With Claws
Series: Part of LT3's For the Hoard Collection
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Two Petals
On the Author's Website:
A dragon dwells atop the mountain that overlooks Ode's village. Every year the surrounding villages gather to make an offering to keep the beast at bay: chests of gold and a human sacrifice.
When the wise men choose his beloved sister, Malle, as the latest sacrifice, Ode immediately offers to take her place. But instead of a dragon on the mountain ledge, he meets a mysterious young man.
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When Ode's sister is chosen as that year's sacrifice for the dragon, Ode knows he has to take her place. He finds the dragon in question quickly, but instead of dying he is able to live with the dragon until he realizes the terrible curse the dragon is under.
Cursed With Claws is essentially a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which means I have read this plot before. What's always interesting about a retelling is the unique spin the author gives to the characters or the setting, but I have also read stories about a cursed dragon on a mountaintop and the hero sacrificing himself for another. Basically, there wasn't anything new or exciting in this story. It was well written for the most part and I enjoyed it, but it read more like fanfiction than original fiction.
The book also suffered from differing prose. At points the narrative was overly flowery in order to sound historical, but Idonea appeared to forget that convention at points and the language style changed. I also know that for historical accuracy the women in the book needed to be helpless waifs in desperate need of a husband to care for them, but Idonea pushed that idea a bit too much for me. And then there was the ending which happened so quickly and so easily that I had trouble pinpointing what happened. Overall, I was disappointed in this book, but I still enjoyed reading it.
For a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, this wasn't terrible, but it wasn't the least bit original. I also had difficulties with some of the narrative and the ending was rough. However, overall I did enjoy reading it, so I will still recommend it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.