Heart's Blood (Roc Fantasy) - Juliet Marillier This was a lovely book. Juliet Marillier, how do you do it? How do you write about such beautifully scarred individuals learning to find courage, play my heart strings like a harp, and create such a unique, sincere rendition without unnecessary melodrama and violence?

This is quite possibly one of the best renditions of Beauty and the Beast I've read or seen (though the Disney version holds a special place in my heart, yes, even with the talking silverware).

I think the core element of Beauty and the Beast is about love between two individuals, a love that overcomes emotional differences and physical appearance. It's about trust, sacrifice, and devotion. Heart's Blood has this in spades, and more. What I loved about this rendition is that Anluan Rebecca, the book has a decidedly gothic feel, in all its creepiness and black-veiled romance. All of the elements of the original fairy tale were also there, from the flowers, the curse, the enchanted mirrors--though with a decidedly Marillieresque twist.

The only issue I had that prevented the fifth star was that the antagonist was immediately apparent, and at times it frustrated me that no one else saw this coming from a mile away.

But still, the point of this novel wasn't to find the culprit (well, maybe just a little). This novel is worth reading for its beautiful romance and its lightening messages of finding hope through courage.