"I am not beautiful...."
Knife's entire existence has been as twisted as his flesh and his face. The only thing beautiful in his life is his sister. When Gwennie is obliged to turn a suitor down because she fears to leave her brother to the brutality of their village, Knife is desperate for anything to ensure her happiness.
Her suitor's cousin offers him a way out, but it won't be easy. Aerie-Smith has been cursed to walk upright in the form of a beast, and his beloved village suffers from the same spell. Aerie-Smith offers Gwen a trousseau and some hope, if only Knife will keep him company on his island for the span of a year and perform one "regrettable task" at year's end.
Knife is unprepared for the form the island's curse takes on his own misshapen body. In one moment of magic, he's given the body of his dreams - and he discovers that where flesh meets spirit and appearance meet reality, sometimes the only place to find truth is in the darkness of a lover's arms.
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This story is a such a fantastic twist on a fairy tale, but like the original fairy tales that were full of blood and horror and killing and hope and love and redemption.
This story is beautiful and special and wonderful and strange and fantastic.
The character of Naef (called "Knife" by almost all) is so hurt, closed off and untrusting at the beginning (with good reason) but by the end has blossomed into such a wonderful character who burrowed under my skin and into my heart.
Nick J. Russo knocks it out of the park with this one. I'll admit, I wasn't really sure about Naef's character voice in the beginning, but it grew on me, as much as the character did. I just LOVED the narration.
If I could give it more than 5 stars I would
- Morgan A Skye