by Cassie Alexander
3.5 out of 5 stars
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Bend Her is a dark, fantasy, romance retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Princess Lisandra was brought to the All Beast (a beastly mage) by her father in exchange for his help. While she was there, she wanted to learn magic, and he taught her through pain and obedience. Throughout the story, she believed she was kidnapped, and Rhaim (the All Beast) never told her otherwise. Most of the story really followed around Rhaim working with the King to kill the Deathless and Lisandra struggling to learn magic. The last couple pages of the book had some spice, but really it was very mild, just a hint.
I had been waiting eagerly for my review copy. The author had been posting prints on Instagram of the characters and I really thought it was going to be deliciously steamy, so I was a little disappointed. There is a lot of world building and working on what becomes their relationship/friendship/situationship through the story. I am hoping that book 2 will lead more into them together or if it will be much of the same. I really want her to gain magic she can control…women cannot learn magic, but there is no real evidence as to why, just that they will burn up and die. But again, no evidence of this written anywhere. Finx, the little cat spider was my favorite character honestly LOL.
The book does end on a cliffhanger and book 2 does not come out until May 2023, so there is a bit of a wait. I do want to continue on with the story. My hopes is sometimes I get caught up on what I want it to be that I miss something to enjoy. A friend of mine who also reviewed this book reviewed the audiobook and she indicates the narrators were fantastic and that helped her love the book even more. So this could very much be a me thing. I wanted something more from the story, but it is hard to point me finger to what. I did like the world building. I did like to know about the battles with the Deathless they sent Rhaim out to battle. There was a short plot twist towards the end that I didn’t really expect so it gave it some nice excitement. I am very happy the author did not kill of Finx or it would be zero stars for me LOL.