TITLE: Beauty and the Guardian Beast
AUTHOR: Rhys Ethan
SERIES: Queerky Tales
COVER ARTIST: Ethereal Ealain
LENGTH: 31 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 3, 2017
PRICE: $1.99 – e-book
The classic tales you know, the characters with secrets you don’t
Ayo is a lonely boy, bullied and withdrawn, until one day his father sends him away to the kingdom of Azizi, to study under the king’s advisor, Issa, a fearsome tiger, that thinks and talks like a man. Ayo misses his father and one day he takes it out on his new companion. The next morning he wakes up to find he is starting to turn into a beast himself and if he’s to ever turn back into his human form, he has a lot to learn.
Queerky Tales is a series of classic fairy tales retold with LGBT characters. Based on the French classic, Beauty & the Guardian Beast is a tale about oppression, kindness and forgiveness.
For children and adults alike.
Beauty and the Guardian Beast is the fifth book in the Queerky Tales series by Rhys Ethan. I greatly enjoyed this short story. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite childhood tales, and I always love the compassion and love that Beauty has for the Beast. I also enjoyed how the author has managed to make this retelling his own. It’s not just a gay retelling of the Beauty and the Beast.
Ayo is a lonely, withdrawn boy that has been bullied all of his life. He comes from a farming community, and he tries his hardest to help his father, but sixteen-year-old Ayo would rather pursue scholarly pursuits and read then work the fields. He’s also bullied because he’s not white like the majority of the students at the school. And that makes him even more of an outsider. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, and he never sticks up for himself. I can easily identify with Ayo since I was in the minority race for my junior high school also and I preferred to read versus socialize with my classmates.
Ayo’s father knows what’s happening to his son, but he’s powerless to help him until one day a carriage comes to town, and Ayo’s father sees a way to get his son the life and schooling that he craves. He makes a deal with the king to have his son come and live in the kingdom of Azizi to study under the king’s advisor, Issa, a fearsome tiger, that thinks and talks like a man.
Instead of being grateful and happy over the opportunity that Ayo has been given, he misses his father and is resentful and petulant and takes it out on his new companion. He wakes up to find that he’s starting to turn into a beast himself. Under Issa’s tutelage, he learns that in Azizi he fits in with the other residents. He isn’t the minority anymore. Most of the residents have dark skin just like him but as he notices that the real difference between his old home and his new home is that everybody is treated with kindness and respect regardless of their color, race, job title, or gender. Ayo learns that to reverse the curse, he will have to learn how to treat everybody with kindness, respect, and ask for forgiveness from the people that he had hurt with his thoughtlessness. While learning his own lessons, he grows closer to Issa and falls in love with him, and together they uncover why Issa hasn’t been able to regain his human form after all of these years. I thought it was very fitting what happened to Ayo’s bullies from his hometown. It brought a big smile to my lips. This short story is suitable for children and adults alike. I can’t wait to read my next Queerky Tale.
Queerky Tales is a series of classic fairy tales retold with LGBT characters. Based on the French classic, Beauty & the Guardian Beast is a tale about oppression, kindness, and forgiveness.
***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***