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REVIEW: Eye of the Beholder – C H Clepitt

Eye of the Beholder - C H Clepitt - Magic Mirror

Genre: Fairy Tale, Historical

Reviewer: Dan

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About The Book

When pressure from his materialistic children turns Claude into a thief, it is down to his youngest daughter to set things right. Angelique agrees to take her father’s place as prisoner to what she is told is a hideous beast.

Angelique soon discovers that the so called beast is nothing more than Rosalie, a princess cursed to remain trapped in a castle, unless the curse can be broken, something she assures her is impossible.

Angelique does not believe in the impossible, and sets about trying to find a way to save her new friend, who she is rapidly growing to love.

Eye of the Beholder is the first in a series of queer fairy tale retellings in C H Clepitt’s Magic Mirror Collection.

The Review

I picked up this book as a lover of fairy tales and their retellings, especially if they really add something to the story. In this case, Eye of the Beholder is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that switches up the time period and the sexual identity of the main couple.

Overall, this was not a bad story, but in order to fit the full fairy tale into a mere 50 pages, something was lost in terms of character development and romance. In a traditional fairy tale, the plot relies on such well-known archetypes and idealized romance that not much is needed in the way of explanations, but to their credit, Clepitt gives us a more complex plot and set of characters, so having such a brief interlude with them left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

I wanted more in terms of character interactions and plot development. If Clepitt ever decided to rework this into a novella or even full-length novel, I might pick it up.

For those seeking a quick and easy happily-ever-after with a queer couple, definitely give this a read. It’s a lighthearted read and blessedly free of any “period accurate” homophobia.

The Reviewer

Dan Ackerman is a writer and educator who has lived in Connecticut for their entire life. They received their BSED from CCSU in 2013 and wrote their Master’s thesis on representations of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema. Currently, Dan is studying for a second MA in ABA and works in a center school for students with a variety of intellectual, developmental, or multiple disabilities. In their spare time, Dan continues to read and write, supplemented with a healthy amount of movie marathons and gaming.  

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