Book Review: The Subtle Beauty (Crowns of the Twelve #1)

The Subtle Beauty book coversource:

Review rate: Four Open Books

4 open books the girl in the steel corset

Author: Anne Hunter
Genre: Fantasy
Published: January 2, 2014 by Afterglow Productions
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Disclosure: Before I proceed, I just thought I’d let you know that I received this book for free. And I’m not paid to do this review. All my opinions are of my own are not influenced in any way from the author and publisher. 


A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that – of all her sisters – she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory’s betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm – a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling.

In this retelling of BEAUTY & THE BEAST, can Glory overcome her vanity to learn that what she wants isn’t what she needs—and save the cursed prince?


We’re all familiar with the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. I’m sure that many of you would even say that it’s one of your favorite classic fairy tales. Likewise, Belle is also my favorite among the Disney princesses. She’s smart, bookish and beautiful. Some of the things I can relate to — Hahaha! Just kidding!

So anyway, when I was asked to read and write a review for the The Subtle Beauty, I didn’t think twice. A twist to may favorite classic fantasy store is something I couldn’t resist.

However, instead of the prince being cursed for being rude and mean, he was cursed because of his father’s greed. And instead of the heroine being the kind, beautiful and smart woman who can change the prince’s life, Glory is vain, rude and selfish.

It’s interesting to note that in The Subtle Beauty, beauty is the beast and beast is the beauty — wait. Did that make sense? I got a bit confused there.

Anyway, the story began with Eoghan’s mother heavily pregnant of her and his father worried that a prince will be born with no lands to rule over. Out of desperation, Xander (the prince’s father) made a deal with the devil in exchange for land, power and wealth for his son. To make the long story short, he got what he wish with an expensive price to pay.

Fast forward to many years, Eoghan meets Glory after being betrothed to one another, and began their love-hate relationship. But, like many fairy tale endings, love conquered in the end. I’m not going to relate everything here since I don’t want to spoil it. This, I gotta say though, is that The Subtle Beauty, despite its cliche, is an interesting read.

I liked how the writer Ann Hunter twisted the plot to answer the question what if beauty is isn’t beautiful in the inside? Will beast still love her? Well, in the story it’s possible even if the roles were reversed.

What I didn’t like, though, is that I didn’t fall in love with their love story. Perhaps the reason is that it lacked the emotional connection. Sure, the prince was kind to Glory in most instances but, for me, it wasn’t enough. I thought Glory falling in love with the was premature because half the time they’re together was spent on banter. And it’s not enough to make someone fall in love, in my opinion.

There were some deja-vu-like instances in the story. It contained sequence of events similar to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. What took my by surprise, however, was that the ending didn’t end where the prince died. It was nice to read that Glory grew from a spoiled rich princess in to this lovely, mature woman post-Eoghan. The character development was really something.

As for the ending, well, let me warn you that I find it to be too cheesy for my taste. Hahaha! I’m not going to tell you what. Suffice to say that it made me cringe a little bit like I did when I re-read Twilight. But don’t worry. It’s not all that bad. Maybe you’ll find it romantic.

Overall, The Subtle Beauty is an interesting. It’s a nice re-telling of the classic fairy tale we’ve all grown to love. The writing style was satisfactory. Their story didn’t communicate well with me, but I enjoyed it. I rate it four open books because it has a good story. But not great enough to make me go gaga. I can put my e-book reader down any time without an ounce of resistance, if you ya know what I mean. 😉

Favorite Quotes: 

I found none that I would like to treasure. Sorry.

If I read it again, I’ll probably find one or two quotable quotes.

Read The Subtle Beauty:

Up next: Book review on Moonlight (Crowns of the Twelve #2). 


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