Hana lives in a remote village surrounded by impassable forest and haunted by a terrible beast. Once a month, the beast claims another victim, from children to the elderly, including Hana’s brother. Since then, Hana has done whatever it takes to keep her parents alive as food dwindles and despite her father’s neglect.

Then the beast chooses her father. He wanders into the forest just like all the others, but this time Hana goes after him and manages to bring him back. Alive, but unconscious, and he won’t wake up. Hana begs for anyone in her village to accompany her into the forest and fight the beast to break the spell on him. No one volunteers, so she goes alone.

There, she fights the beast and while she survives, she is badly wounded. A strange, cloaked man finds her and takes her to his home in the middle of an enchanted garden, tending to her wounds for several days. Hana is intrigued by his kindness and mysteriousness, down to the fact he doesn’t remember his own name.

But he does know about the curse on her village, its origins, and the true monster of the forest. Only by working together and finding the truth of the curse can he and Hana free her father, the village, and themselves.

This is an AMAZING retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in Japan. I love Zoe Marriott’s books and this one is one of my favorites. Hana is a tough, determined heroine and the story itself is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Zoe Marriott doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the curse’s backstory. Great book!

Recommended Tea: Jasmine Green Tea

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling