My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: R. S. McCoy
Genre: YA Retelling
Blossom Frane is only weeks away from her transformation. On her eighteenth birthday, she’ll find out her future branch of society and her totem, the animal form she’ll be able to take at will for the rest of her life. Like her brothers, she’s expected to be a brown bear of the religious branch known as Terra.
In the Alderwood forests, Blossom’s bear blood is a valuable asset. Any day now, a rival clan leader will step forward and offer her father a hefty bounty in exchange for her hand in marriage. Blossom can do nothing more than sit back and wait to be traded to the highest bidder.
Determined to spend her last weeks exploring the Alderwood, Blossom sneaks away and manages to find Kaide Landel, a rising political star of the Pyro branch. Known for his violence and disregard for the religious teachings of the Terra branch, he’s all wrong for the bear clan’s prized daughter. But when the politician uses his wealth and influence to secure her hand, Blossom has no choice but to leave her family and marry him—if she lives that long.
The main character, Blossom, is a free spirited girl who wants nothing more than freedom. She is everything you want in a main character. Fierce, determined, and a big heart that is loyal to her family and friends. I loved Blossoms attitude. When Kaide comes along dragging her into marriage and a new life she takes it in stride. She continues to be an inquisitive pest. Seriously. The Alderwood is completely different from Pyro. Everything from clothes, to totems.But Blossom could care less. She's determined to make the best out of every situation.
I loved the idea of the totems and world in this story! That the animal they are represents their strongest character traits. Finding out Kaides totem was something I was so excited for. And Blossoms totem? Yeah WOW. The different parts of their world and their strong suits was something I enjoyed seeing throughout the story. The portals and the mix of the natural world with the new ways of their wold was crazy to see.
Kaide and Blosom made my heart stutter. THEY ARE SO PERFECT!! Kaide was a quiet, strong type and Blossom is an inquisitive, vibrant girl. Though you would think she would't fit at all with Kaide's world she surprises everyone by thriving in it. Their relationship was so well developed. I was expecting a quick romance with instant love but it wasn't. Blossom isn't the type to give away her heart lightly and Kaide is patient enough to wait for her.
My only problem with this story is how it slowed in the middle. We had a lot of tension in the beginning and the end was very fast paced but the middle it was like we were waiting for something. I would have preferred if we had gotten a bit more at the end. A little more of an explanation but it was like we just hit it and it was over. It didn't hinder my love for the story though.
Speaking of the end can I just say wow. The ending was nothing like I was expecting. I thought I had the whole story figured out but at the last minute I was swept off my feet by a whirlwind of new plot twists and anxiety. Yeah lots of anxiety. And anger. And tears. I need the second book NOW. Please and thank you.
I usually end with a 'who I recommend this book to' but at the beginning I said it had something for every reader. And it does in fact have everything. This retelling of Beauty and the Beast is like none I've ever read. Go grab your copy and enjoy falling into a unique, paranormal world full of bears and peaches (odd but true:).