- Eye of the Beholder
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.
I grew up loving fairy tales but as I grew and learned about the dark, often misogynistic themes behind some of my favourite classics my love for them soured. With CH Clepitt’s queer retelling of Beauty and the Beast all the problematic themes around consent, and ownership of women are removed and what’s left is a compelling, beautifully sweet story of love, pain, loss, and redemption. There is nothing about this story I don’t love. Reading one of my favourite stories retold with women like me at its centre is the balm for my soul I didn’t know I needed. When I think about the magic of Beauty and the Beast in future I’ll always think of Rosalie and Angelique.
“Why should people read it?”
You know that feeling when you unexpectedly stumble across something so perfect, so pure that it seems to answer a question you didn’t even know you were asking? That’s why you should read this novella. CH Clepitt’s queer retelling of this classic fairy tale is exceptional in every detail from the setting in 1930s France to the nature of the “beast”. Give this queer fairy tale a try, I know it will become your new head-canon too.