Book Review: ‘As Old as Time’ by Liz Braswell

With Beauty and the Beast being released in theaters this past weekend, I thought it would be a great time to visit Liz Braswell’s twisted version, As Old as Time, written for Disney Press publishing. The story is darker than the Disney films but will be well loved by any devoted fan.

The novel doesn’t follow the story in the movies. Instead, it starts by changing one small element and in doing so, changes the whole tale. The premise of the story is, what if Belle’s mother was the enchantress who cursed the Beast? Why would she curse a child prince? What happens to her afterward? Why would she leave her family? What will Belle do when she discovers the truth?

This book takes an in-depth look at the hate humans have for those who are different, making it sometimes dark and disturbing. However, Belle shines brightly as an intelligent and independent heroine and the love story is as awe-inspiring as in the films. Belle must save her family and her town from true evil and learn to live with the mistakes of her parents. While the book draws on extremes, the views of the villagers can be found in our own world making it scarily true to life.

Overall, this book was an interesting change to the original story. I love a bit of darkness in my YA tales, so it was right up my alley. If you’re a fan, you’re sure to enjoy this tale that fills in some plot holes from the original movie while making the story its own.

4 out of 5 stars

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