cover image Brendan and the Beast

Brendan and the Beast

Fox Beckman. Fox Beckman, $7.99 e-book (374p) ISBN 979-8-218-18013-3

Beckman (Stolen from Tomorrow) delights in this queer retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” in which Beauty’s brother, Brendan, goes in Beauty’s place to the Beast’s castle to make good on a wager that their father foolishly made with the Beast. Though initially the Beast tries to force Brendan to leave, hopeful that Beauty will finally be the one to undo the curse keeping him in his castle for centuries, the two slowly grow fond—and then more than fond—of one another. Will Brendan turn out to be the true love who can undo the spell? It’s a tale as old as time, but Beckman enhances the familiar plot with lovely prose and elements less common to fairy tales, namely gay love and gay sex. Alternating perspectives between Brendan and the Beast adds depth to both, and several tongue-in-cheek appearances from the witch who cast the spell upon the Beast, who’s true goal has always been to make a good story, bring fourth-wall–breaking fun. Fairy tale lovers and romance aficionados alike will savor this surprising adaptation. (Self-published)