The Prince's Prisoner*

More Beast Than Beauty in this Very Dark Retelling

I am not quite sure what to make of this book. It says it is a dark retelling of the classic children’s story Beauty and the Beast but I did not find that it truly was. It is about the fae, as promised, and it is indeed dark. Very dark. So dark that there appears to be very little light or hope throughout the entire book.
Modern-day Callie goes to search for her friend who disappeared overnight after going to a forest frolic outside of a small town in Scotland. Callie finds herself literally thrust in the world dark world of the fae. An animal she finds after crossing that threshold told her that she must avoid four things to not be trapped there. The fae don’t play nice. One essentially forces her onto the dance floor, one of those four things that must not be done, and now Callie is trapped in the fae realm along with her friend. She attempts to bargain with one of the princes of the realm for her and her friend’s lives, but it doesn’t go as she had hoped. She is now well and truly trapped for reasons that I won’t go into.
I found the story for most of the book to be rather slow-moving and uninteresting even though all the things above were going on. The language is sparse; sometimes days or weeks go by with just a few words about what has past. Not much in the way of emotion is expressed to make us empathize with Callie beyond what we would feel for anyone in her position. There is very little action to speak of besides moving around rooms and occasionally going outside. The prince, Rain, I found totally unlikable and unredeemable. He is unkind and cruel, as one would expect from the Beast, but unlike the original tale, that doesn’t ever seem to change. The whole book, in all honesty, is a bit of a downer. You keep reading, hoping that something good will happen, that the bad guy will show the good but buried part to his personality, or that Callie will have some hope. But none of that transpires.
The cover is pretty, but I do not see how it relates to the book.
I found this to be a dark, gloomy read with not much to recommend it.