Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Beast is an Animal - Peternelle van Arsdale

The Beast is an animal
You'd better lock the Gate
Or when it's dark, It comes for you
Then it will be too late

Alys was the only one to see the soul eaters when they came to her village. The others were sleeping. They never woke up...

Now, an orphan, Alys knows the full danger of the soul eaters. She's heard the nursery rhymes the chidren sing about the twin sisters who feed on souls. She's seen people disappear into the fforest and never come back. So why, then, does she find herself mysteriously drawn to the fforest? Is she what everyone around her says she is? A witch? 

Alys soon finds herself on a journey that will take her to the very heart of the fforest. There she must decide where true evil lies. And face the thing they call ...

The Beast.

What did I think?

I do believe that you are NEVER too old for fairytales, and as with all fairytales there is good and a LOT of evil in The Beast is an Animal.  Marketed as a YA book, this is definitely one that many adults will enjoy as much as I did.

I adored the setting of the scene with a farmer and his wife being blessed with twin girls, Angelica and Benedicta.  Now these twins are the mirror image of each other but they both carry the mark of the beast (a simple birthmark) so it isn't long before the farmer succumbs to the pressure of the village and casts his wife and daughters out into the fforest.  For a while he visits them but as time goes on, they are forgotten.  Left to fend for themselves, the girls return and take their vengeance on the village - eating souls of the kind of people who have harmed them.  Only little Alys, who struggles to sleep, saw the girls and she is so unafraid of them that Angelica and Benedicta leave her unharmed.  The Beast is an Animal is Alys' tale of how she survived and her fight against the thing they call....The Beast.

I have Welsh ancestors so I loved the Welsh setting of The Beast is an Animal, and the story flowed as effortlessly as a babbling brook through the Welsh valleys.  I was completely sucked into the story and felt both sorry for Angelica and Benedicta as well as mightily scared of them.  They have such power - they can eat your very soul and I, for one, didn't want to come across them on a darkened night.

I completely underrated Alys' strength at first.  She is a young child left orphaned but, against the odds, she survives.  She goes from strength to strength and like any heroine, I really rooted for her as The Beast continued to cast its shadow over her life.

Don't be fooled by the YA label, this is a dark and scary tale for all ages.  It's so imaginative,  dark and dreamlike that you will find it hard to put down.  You WILL enjoy this or The Beast will come for you!

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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