Beauty a retelling of the story beauty and the beast

I feel like we need to discuss someone that might have been forgotten

PLEASE NOTE: MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR SARAH J MAAS’S “A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN” (ACOWAR). (I’ll be putting most of this below in the Read More section)

I feel like we got a lot of information and foreshadowing in this book and so far I’ve seen two posts that have been on my same path of thinking. I’ve made predictions for this series with my friends before and ended up being either dead on or pretty damn close to what actually happened so I wanted to share what I came up with with all of you. 

I wanna talk about Briar. 

I think she’s gonna be Tamlin’s Mate.

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So let’s get this fairy tale club started! March’s fairy tale will be my ultimate fave, Beauty and the Beast. The movie retelling will be the new Disney film, but I cannot decide on the book retelling. I’ve narrowed it down to a few options. Please let me know your opinion on this post, to make it easier for me to count votes!

Beauty by Robin McKinley- one of my personal favorite novels, it’s a straightforward fairy tale retelling. Disney’s animated film took many bits of inspiration from this novel (uncredited, of course, but read it and you’ll see.) However, I’ve already read it and though I love it, I can say it can be slow-paced for many readers. It’s also very much a straightforward fairy tale retelling, no unusual twists or turns. However, it could be fun to compare it to the animated classic and then the ensuing live action. 

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay- a new, YA retelling of the fairy tale with Asian influences and a blind Beauty. I have not read it, so I cannot comment on possible triggers. It looks like there may be a war between races, which can always skew super racist. But I won’t know until I read it! I like this option because it is the least Disney option and most unlike the original tale.

As Old As Time by Liz Braswell - a Disney-approved Disney author’s retelling of the Disney version, which suggests that Belle’s mother is the enchantress who cursed the Beast. 

There are other YA retellings out there, but so many of them seem to have an abusive Beast- I understand that the nature of Beauty and the Beast as a story invites possible abuse (even in the Disney version), but eh. Feel free to offer other suggestions but know I have probably already looked at them and decided against it for various reasons (A Court of Thorns and Roses and Cruel Beauty, to name a couple).

Future fairy tale months will not be so Disney-heavy, and most likely with no Disney influences at all. However, I couldn’t resist the chance for all of us to discuss the new movie and enjoy all the BatB related stuff coming out in the next month!

What do you vote for - 1, 2, 3?

A feminist defense of the animated Belle (warning: long)

Ah, Belle. She’s one of the universal favorites of all the Disney princesses and possibly my own personal favorite, hard though it is to choose. She was the first Disney heroine whose screenplay was written by a woman, Linda Woolverton, and has been widely acclaimed as “Disney’s first feminist heroine” (or at least the second, if you count Ariel as the first). Yet as with every Disney heroine, plenty of feminists over the years have disdained and lambasted her. The publicity surrounding the live-action remake seems to have enhanced the criticisms of the original: Emma Watson, Bill Condon, Jacqueline Durran, et al, have all made a real effort to make their version of Belle a more “empowered” and “modern” heroine than the original and emphasized this fact in all their interviews. This is all well and good, but in response, too many people are now claiming that the original Belle was never “really” strong, smart or interesting and that Watson’s Belle is superior in every way. Having grown up loving the original Belle, and knowing about the tireless efforts that Linda Woolverton, lyricist Howard Ashman, storyboard artist/writer Brenda Chapman, and others put into making her a strong, empowered character, I can’t possibly agree with the criticisms. They make some valid points, but on the whole they range from half-truths to total nonsense!

So here’s my feminist defense of the original, animated Belle. I don’t address every complaint I’ve ever read about the character, only the complaints about feminist issues. For example, I don’t address the common claim that she’s “a snob,” because that gripe has nothing to do with gender roles. But even with this narrow focus, be warned: this defense is long, because I’ve read a lot of complaints over the years and I have no shortage of opinions about them.

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fantasticalnonsense18  asked:

Lately I've been pondering the development of Beauty and Beast's relationship, chiefly in Villeneuve/Beaumont's and Disney's versions, and of course you're own; each retelling is unique in its own way, and each has different lessons to teach. My question to you is, how has this relationship developed over the centuries (i.e. how we interpret it), and who do you think learns more from the other, or has more character growth, due to this relationship: Beauty or Beast?

Ooh, that’s a GREAT question, and not one I can really give a short or glib answer to…

Most older variants of the story are interested in Beauty getting what she deserves —wealth, station and an appropriate mate. This makes sense, as it’s a story about a woman told by women —first at great length in Villeneuve’s novella, and then in a much shorter bowdlerized form by Beaumont. The primary concern of the story is Beauty being respectfully courted by a remarkable patient and good hearted, but ugly, individual. This is, heartbreakingly, a deeply romantic fantasy when we consider that its authors were women who had been foisted into loveless political marriages with less than kindhearted men — it’s the story of hoping the man with whom you are forced co-habitate will turn out to be a kind prince, in spite of first seeming to be an unknowable monster.

The details of the characters aren’t precise —these are fairy tales after all. The Prince has no name, and neither does the heroine (she is so pretty people call her a beauty — this isn’t actually her name). Villeneuve glories in setting her stage and painting her set details, but never gives us much idea of the characters’ emotional lives. Beaumont trims the fat (and the backstory) but leaves us with even less to build upon. All we really know is the Beauty is kind, optimistic, hard-working and good, and her Beast is patient, self-effacing and perhaps a touch melodramatic.

It’s when we begin moving into cinema and the modern trend towards broader retellings that we start to see some digging into the character’s emotional state;

Cocteau’s film gives us a remarkable sensual Beast, and a stern, restrained Beauty. The story, abstract in places, relying on metaphor and surrealist imagery, can be taken as an emotional one — Beauty’s strange journey towards realizing her own sensual desires, as depicted by a man who seems to be an animal… or is he her brother’s friend? She’s not sure. They run together in her mind. Although Cocteau’s Beast is a powerful image with his smoking claws, his diamond tears, and his stalking bloodied through Beauty’s bedchamber, the emotional journey is not his.

Robin Mckinley gave us our next step in her fully realized novel, Beauty — a straightforward and no- nonsense story told from the heroine’s straightforward and no-nonsense point of view. Here, Beauty’s interior life is on full display. It is most definitely her story, her growth, and her revelations we care about. Her Beast is already more or less a complete person — one who is happy to rediscover his love of horses, yes, but not with any great emotional journey to make. Once more, it is Beauty who must grapple with herself, while the Beast waits patiently for her to come him as the inevitable conclusion.

When Disney arrives (borrowing much of McKinley’s Beauty for their own bookish, horse-loving Belle) they begin an exploration we haven’t seen before —one into the Beast’s interior life. Gone is the gentle patient soul waiting for the girl to open up to him. Here, suddenly is the angry young man raging against circumstances and lashing out at the world. For the first time, we have a Beast who is every bit as beastly as he appears. For the first time, we have a Beauty who is awaiting the maturation her partner, her own journey already complete.

Leading up to this point, we’d seen a number of explorations of the story that allowed the Beast to become a metaphor for Beauty’s awakening sexuality, her exploration of unconscious desire, or her self actualization. We hadn’t seen a Beast who was a person in and of himself since Beaumont trimmed away Villeneuve’s backstory of a boy cursed by a caregiver-turned-predator.

Since then, we’ve seen a number of adaptations concerned with the Beast’s journey back to humanity — Donna Jo Napoli’s “Beast”,  Alex Flinn’s “Beastly” , and Disney’s Broadway adaptation of the animated film among others. Rare is the appearance of the patient and polite monster suitor we originally knew. The Beast has become a masculine metaphor for self-loathing, for fear of one’s desires and impulses, and for the conquering of one’s aggression. His winning of love and subsequent return to shining humanity is a promise that even the most unlovable of us can grow and change and be redeemed. It is an interesting cultural shift, that this once very female-centred story is now often one of masculine growth and change.

So, in trying to sum up, traditionally Beauty and the Beast has been a story about a young woman’s journey to accepting an unconventional male partner. In the twentieth century, it become a popular metaphor for the awakening of female sexuality and power. Now, more and more, we see it as a metaphor for the channeling of negative masculinity into positive masculinity. The story evolves. We pull new meaning from it, stretch it this way and that, examine it in the mirror, and take it apart to see how it ticks. It changes to suit our cultural needs, and it will continue to change.

In my own work, I’m trying to move a step further — to write a story about equals. Two people growing in complimentary ways, rather than one partner awaiting the other. We will always have our separate initiation rites, but for now I’m interested in seeing how a relationship blossoms. A particular quote has stayed with me through the development of the comic adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and it is this:

“A generation ago, great writers and editors like Jane Yolen, Ellen Datlow… reclaimed the traditional heritage: dismissing soft-focus, Disneyfied Snow White and Cinderella, rediscovering grim truths and quick-witted, resourceful heroines. That’s fine, that’s excellent work. But what I’ve wanted to do is to reclaim the relationships. To bring the prince and the princess together, instead of sending them off on segregated initiation trials. To let them meet as human beings, as friends, and fight side by side.”

—Gwyneth Jones”

Beauty and the Beast Retelling.... ACOMAF?

In the first book they told us that ACOTAR was a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story but we don’t know what retelling is ACPMAF….

I’ve been thinking that perhaps both books create the complete retelling, here I live you what I would think the characters are:

Feyre - Belle
Rhys - Beast
Tamlin - Gaston
The inner cycle - members of the castle (lumier, potts, etc)
Lucien - LeFou


If you give it a chance you can see Rhys we thought he was the bad guy at the beginning as we do with the beast in Beauty and the Beast story and Tamlin in ACOMAF acts exactly like Gaston; The inner circle supports Rhys as all the dishes and stuff do with the beast as LeFou and Lucien to Gaston and Tamlin, and well Feyre is exactly like Belle. I know is an Hades an Persephone retelling but beauty and the beast fits perfectly. Theories by my best friend @aagalathynius and me @fey

Beauty and The Beast: A Proper Aromantic Asexual Retelling

With tragedy tainting her childhood, Beauty struggles to find her place in her own home. Her only true companion is her father, who travels frequently and leaves her alone with her older, selfish siblings. When Father returns from a trip one day with a frightening tale of doom, Beauty decides she can no longer allow fate to determine her life. It is time to protect her family – even if it means never seeing them again.

**I will be posting chapters soon, so please support me by following, liking, and reblogging**

anonymous asked:

This isn't kpop related but your bio says you like to read. Could you recommend a few of your favourite books?

ANON! Of course! I read a lot of fantasy/YA, so excuse my bias. 

Some of my favorite books/series are:

1) Red Rising (Pierce Brown)

Sci-fi YA. I like to call it Hunger Games meets Enders Game. Honestly one of my favorite series. The world building, the fantasy, the suspense. Pierce Brown is a master and this series is something else.

2) Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas)

Fantasy YA. I love this series - absolutely adore. The first book is fantastic but it’s the direction in the next few (5/6 are currently out) that make me truly adore this world. It takes on a life of it’s own.

3) Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas)

So, I’m a Sarah J. Maas fangirl. LOL this book is a twist on Beauty and the Beast, set in the Fey world (not similar to Addewid if you read my fanfic blog lol). Anyways, it was book two of this series that dragged me deep.

4) The Wrath and the Dawn (Renee Ahdieh)

Sigh. This is a two book series that honestly had me on the edge of my seat and even crying at one point. A beautiful story - and very original retelling of A Thousand Nights.

Keep reading

nytimes.com
Fairy Tales, Gently Fractured
Audiobooks of Garth Nix’s “Frogkisser!” and Chris Colfer’s “The Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales” offer kids spit-shined versions of Grimm Brothers’ classics.
By A.j. Jacobs

You don’t have to own a knitted pink cap or the collected works of Roxane Gay to find the sexual politics of fairy tales troubling. Among the lessons fairy tales impart:

Upward mobility is possible — if you’re a ravishing beauty (“Cinderella”). Women don’t need to talk — or breathe, really — as long as they are physically attractive (“Snow White”). Abducting women is a viable path to romance (“Beauty and the Beast”). The nonconsensual kissing of coma victims is a great way to meet your mate (“Sleeping Beauty”).

Pretty retrograde, even in the post-Hillary era. Which is why recent retellings and mash-ups of fairy tales tend to give the Grimm brothers universe a feminist makeover, or at least a feminist sheen.

[…] “Frogkisser!” comes several years after the actor Chris Colfer started to publish his own fairy-tale-inspired books with a girl-power twist. Colfer’s series the Land of Stories follows a pair of 12-year-old twins who are magically sucked into a book of fairy tales. (My kids and I are on Vol. 3 of six of the hardcovers.) In Colfer’s books, damsels are rarely in distress. Goldilocks, for instance, is a sword-wielding warrior and Sleeping Beauty hasn’t slept in years because she’s working tirelessly to reform her kingdom.

Colfer’s new audiobook, “The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales,” is related to the series, but also a departure. It doesn’t feature the adventuring twins, but instead is a straightforward collection of fairy tales. Twenty-five stories from the Grimm brothers, Hans Christian Andersen and others, are retold and tidied up a bit by Colfer.

I recommend it for three reasons. First, Colfer — an actor most famous for playing a countertenor teenager on “Glee” — is a wizard at voices. In “Henny Penny,” he gives distinct, birdlike cadences to a duck, a goose, hen, rooster and a turkey. His yawn from Goldilocks was convincing enough to make me yawn in the driver’s seat.

Keep reading

archiveofourown.org
Mirrors, Ch 13, Beauty and the Beast
By Organization for Transformative Works

“I can’t do it,” he breathed. “I won’t do it.”

Story Summary: Everyone knows the Beast was selfish and unkind—which, of course, is exactly what a jealous enchantress would want the world to think. A retelling in which young Adam was an innocent victim caught up in his father’s past mistakes, and Belle a willing presence seeking to repay her own father’s debt. And with a vengeful witch on the loose, Gaston is the least of their worries.

Also on FFN.

Concept: Beauty & the Beast, but without the Classic Faerytale Happy Ending

If you’ve seen the Disney movie Maleficent, remember how she made her curse basically “unbreakable” because the concept of “true love,” as it appears in faerytales, doesn’t actually exist?

What if the witch who cursed our prince (we’ll call him Adam) used the same principle? What if he already had a girlfriend (or boyfriend) and everything, but then he ran out of rose petals, and it still wasn’t enough to break the curse? What if instead of some magical kiss from someone he’d only known a few weeks just instantly turning him human again, he was stuck in the form of a beast for the rest of his life?

Now, imagine that Adam’s partner (guess we’ll call her Belle) doesn’t care if he’ll always be a beast, but she can’t stand to see him being so miserable about it, so she constantly encourages him to love himself, and once his confidence has built up enough, she convinces him to go outside and try to live like a normal person instead of just hiding away in a castle for the rest of his life. Obviously, this is going to take some work and preparation, so Belle starts going around to nearby towns and chatting people up, making friends, so she can eventually introduce them to her boyfriend and they can become his friends too.

Over time, the word spreads that there’s a cursed prince who’s friendly and just wants to live a normal life. People are intimidated by his appearance at first, but most eventually come around and are kind to him. Those that aren’t may form protests against this beast being allowed to coexist with humans, but you can bet your butt that Belle and Adam’s friends are there with their own counter-protests, fighting for nonhumans’ rights to be treated fairly and equally.

Maybe there are other cursed beings who hear about all this going down, so they get together and support each other as well. Eventually, it just becomes a common occurance to see beasts and talking animals, and all sorts of other magical creatures walking around in towns and cities alongside humans, and it’s a great relief for everyone.

Adam thinks back to that day, many years ago, when he realized he was doomed to be a beast for eternity, only now he doesn’t feel so doomed. He looks at Belle, smiles, and holds her hand. She smiles back and thinks of all they’ve been through together, the things they’ve both sacrificed for each other and compromises they’ve each made for the good of their relationship, and this beautiful world they’ve built together, and only now does she truly understand what true love is.

Anonymous asked:

I have a question about the “Disney” character ask that’s been bugging me for some time. I wrote something similar, and called the character of my beauty and the beast telling “Belle” since it means Beauty and could’ve sworn I’ve seen others use that name. But my writing teacher said I couldn’t use it because of Disney? I don’t know if these other retellings took place before or after the Disney version, or remember what they were, but was she right? Even if the name is spot on from the story?


I’m not an expert on different versions of Beauty and the Beast, so your guess is as good as mine. You will need to do the research yourself to find out what was in the original version (La Belle et la Bête by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve). If she is actually called Belle, as a name, in that version, I don’t see how that could be an issue–but I’m also not a copyright expert so I can’t tell you for sure. What I would do is research as many other retellings as I could find and see if she’s named Belle in any version after 1991 when the Disney movie came out. If you decide to go for it, though, you’ll need to make sure your version doesn’t borrow any Disney specific characters or elements and make your Belle as different from Disney’s as possible.

Alternatives you might consider:

- look to other languages for other words meaning “beauty” that you could use as her name instead. For example, “bellesa” is “beauty” in Catalan. In Italian it’s “bellezza.” If you chose a name like that, you could call her “Bel” for short and it sounds the same without being the same.

- many names are embedded with meaning without being direct translations of a word. Names like Amara, Abigail, Isa, Rachel, and Zinnia are names that mean pretty, beauty, or attractive. There are many others. Baby name web sites are handy!

- use “Belle” (or the word for “beauty” in another language) as her surname. So, instead of being named “Belle,” she could be Elizabeth Belle.

Good luck and enjoy doing your research. If you’re embarking on a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I strongly encourage you to read the original story. It is available for free online, translated into English. :)

———————————————————————————–
Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you! Prohibited questions: portrayal of diverse characters, portrayal of emotions, specialist knowledge questions (medical, military, mental health, etc.), “how to portray/describe,” asking for tropes/cliches, asking for resources; broad, vague, or complicated questions. See master list & main site for more info!

anonymous asked:

There's this post comparing ACOTAR to Sailor Moon. Though I've never seen the show myself, there seems to be a lot of similarities/parallels between the two. Forgive me for the idiotic questions but I'm genuinely confused. I know that no work is 100% original but is it okay to take inspiration from something that your work ends up being incredibly similar to the original? As a writer, where do you draw the line? Thought you'd be the best person to ask, since you work with fairytales. Thanks!

This is interesting! I haven’t seen the post in question, nor am I very familiar with Sailor Moon, so I can’t comment on this particular instance. But I can take a stab at your more general question, which is a really good one!

So yes, you’re right that no work is 100% original, but there’s also an understanding that you’re putting in your best effort to tell your own story as a writer. No one can prove definitively whether or not a writer has seen/read any other media (unless they’ve directly spoken about it before), so it can be a slippery slope saying a writer’s story is “too similar” to other media. The more recent the other media is, the worse the problem gets. I tend to err on the side of caution–I didn’t read Shatter Me for literal years because Juliette Ferrars and Pomona, my protagonist in Unrooted, have a similar condition preventing them from touching people. It wasn’t until I had Pomona totally nailed down that I felt comfortable reading Shatter Me. I am still careful with what I read if I know my books will be covering similar themes (incidentally, this is also why authors do not/cannot read fanfiction). 

Stories are comprised of segments, motifs, tropes, etc. These make storytelling a little easier. It’s not wrong to use them, and I wouldn’t get too afraid of seeing stories you like that are similar. Don’t be afraid that one creator is “copying” something else, because it could very well be a coincidence. There are times when it isn’t, of course, and that’s never good, but it’s far too easy to hold up any two pieces of media and say one inspired the other when it’s simply not true. 

As far as working with fairy tales goes, I have a bit more flexibility because these stories are meant to be repeated, and no one owns them. Fairy tales have bled into our broader understanding of storytelling, so there’s an even higher chance of that false equivalency popping up. Now, if I’m retelling Beauty and the Beast and include a talking candlestick, I’m gonna be in big trouble because that is clearly a Disney addition to the story. But Disney included Belle as a bookworm with an incredible library decades after Robin McKinley did the same thing in her book Beauty. Perhaps they were paying homage, since McKinley helped kick-start the retelling trend, but perhaps it was also a coincidence. There’s simply not enough to go on to come to any conclusions, and unfortunately this is a downside of any creative endeavor.

Braving Diversity: Intro Post

First off: Don’t panic and don’t start changing characters skin colors all willy-nilly because people aren’t the sum of their skin color. Depending on your story, you might just need to add in a description, but you want to make sure that this isn’t all you’re doing.

Many white people feel like they need permission to write a story about a person of color. Many people think they need permission to write about someone that they don’t identify with. Straight writing gay characters, White writing people of color, people of color writing another culture. You don’t need permission to write about an experience or different point of view. You simply just do it. You write it with caution, concern, and most of all respect and dignity to the characters’ culture.

How do you do that?

Keep reading

archiveofourown.org
Mirrors, Ch 16(17), Beauty and the Beast
By Organization for Transformative Works

“Too late…” 

Story Summary: Everyone knows the Beast was selfish and unkind—which, of course, is exactly what a jealous enchantress would want the world to think. A retelling in which young Adam was an innocent victim caught up in his father’s past mistakes, and Belle a willing presence seeking to repay her own father’s debt. And with a vengeful witch on the loose, Gaston is the least of their worries.

Also on FFN.

MLM Books I’ve Read

These all explicitly have mlm romance involving the main characters in them. (It is NOT just heavily implied.) I believe these books have handled their LGBT characters well and respectfully. This list is meant for mlm.

  1. The Beauty’s Brother by Leon Hart (☆☆☆; sexual assault): This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It’s from the perspective of one of the beast’s servants, all of whom have been turned into animals with only a few of them being able to turn back into humans. The beauty and her brother are held captive in the castle. I wouldn’t say the book is very well written, but it’s a unique take on the story of Beauty and the Beast. The story leaves a lot to be desired, from the characters to the worldbuilding to the plot. It’s a pretty simple romance.
  2. Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter (☆☆☆☆): I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It’s an arranged marriage story between a prince, whose father views him as weak and worthless, and a dragon slayer. The prince’s father allows the marriage because he wants his son to spy on his husband. I liked to character development in the story, and consent was greatly stressed in the romance. The plot was enjoyable too. However, the story leaves off on a cliffhanger and the series appears to be abandoned.
  3. The Errant Prince by Sarah L. Miller (☆☆☆): The story was about a soldier, who happens to be a trans man, and a runaway prince. The soldier located the prince and intended to bring him back to his family, which he does, but the prince agrees to come. Choice seemed to be a large theme in the story. The story is very short so it didn’t get very complex. It was a basic romance and I was hoping to enjoy it more than I did, seeing as it features a trans male character.
  4. The High King’s Golden Tongue by Megan Derr (☆☆☆☆): Another book involving arranged marriage. It is between a prince and the high king, as he’s called. The prince is initially humiliated and rejected by the high king, who is still grieving after the death of his first husband. The high king views the prince as weak and doesn’t want to take another husband. Basically everyone in this story is in some way LGBT. There is reference to male pregnancy but I read on the author’s blog that she intended for some characters to be trans, and those are the characters I’m assuming she was referring to. It is not explicitly stated in the book however. The romance is very mutual and the changes of heart that the characters had were nice to read. At times, the characters seem to be really trope-y. All in all, I enjoyed the story very much. The book is followed by The Pirate of Fathoms Deep, which I have not had the chance to read.
  5. Luck in the Shadows (☆☆☆☆☆); Stalking Darkness (☆☆☆☆☆); Traitor’s Moon (☆☆☆☆☆); Shadows Return (☆☆☆☆; slavery, torture, sexual assault); The White Road (☆☆☆☆); Casket of Souls (☆☆☆☆); Shards Of Time (☆☆☆☆☆) by Lynn Flewelling: This is my all-time favorite series. It’s about a pair of bisexual spies who are in a relationship. The relationship begins in the second book because the characters had a mentor and protégé relationship at the beginning. They are on equal footing by the time the relationship happens. The books are full of action, fantasy, and political intrigue, and all of the characters are very well-written. The stories are interconnected and involve the same characters, but do not follow the same plot line. I would recommend reading them all in order, though, because they’re consecutive and you miss vital information when you skip them.  I enjoyed all of the books, but books four through six were not as good as the first, second, third, and seventh. I highly recommend these books. I was so sad to reach the ending of the books; I just wanted to keep reading them forever.
  6. Magic’s Pawn (☆☆☆☆; major character death, suicide) by Mercedes Lackey: This story was just… so sad. I didn’t initially like the main character, but I couldn’t help but feel very sympathetic towards him. He grows a lot during the book because of the many adversities he faces. The main character is a noble who is sent away by his father to live with his aunt, who is a Herald-Mage (basically a wizard). He hopes to become a Bard while he lives with aunt and he develops a relationship with a one of his aunt’s trainees. The main character’s abilities are awakened in the story, but I won’t say more than that. The dialogue often didn’t feel realistic, but I enjoyed the story a lot other than that. It kind of put me in a funk because of how sad it was, but I’ve started the next book, Magic’s Promise, which takes place 12 years after the end of the first one. The final book is Magic’s Price.
  7. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (☆☆☆☆☆; major character death): Basically everyone who is into gay books knows about this one, but I’ll explain it anyway. It’s a retelling of the Iliad. In this book, the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is explicitly romantic. I greatly enjoyed this book and thought it was very well-written. I read it quite awhile ago, so I can’t remember if I had any complaints with it. 

If you’d like more recommendations for mlm books, please be directed to the list I compiled that includes books I have not yet read!