Book Review: Bend Her
Bend Her: A Dark Beauty and the Beast Fantasy Romance is the story of Rhaim the All-Beast, a cruel beast mage doomed to die at the hands of the woman he must protect at all costs, and Lisane, the sheltered Princess of Tears, who has been given into his care and who needs him to teach her magic so she can be free—no matter how much it might hurt her.
The intro follows . . .
My whole life, I had been a creature used to candlelight.
But I wasn’t accustomed to my own breath hot against my face, or the rough feeling of fabric against my cheek—or knowing that my wrists were tied behind my back, painfully tight.
The last thing I could recall was being in a carriage…We’d been running away from the Deathless . . .
And now I was here.
Wherever here was.
Tied up, in the dark, on the ground, with a bag around my head.
The very thing my father had been afraid of for me for my whole life—and the reason I lived in a gilded cage, only getting to leave the palace when I had throne-sworn mages by my side—had apparently happened.
I had been kidnapped.
Rhaim the All-Beast:
Every mage gets one clear vision on the eve of their Ascension into their full powers, right before they get the brand of their mage-mark: you see the thing that will cause your absolute demise.
Some men see snowy peaks or waterfalls, others bucking horses, and some lucky few see themselves with old and wrinkled hands, passing peacefully in their sleep.
In all instances, we’re told, the reasoning behind the visions is the same: if you’re strong enough to be trusted with powers, then you must learn to accept the hand of fate, as surely as you’d earned it as your mage-mark.
You need to know, deep in your bones and now scarred on your skin, that while there are things in the world you can change with your powers, death comes for us all.
There is no amount of magic that can escape it.
And so, when a group of soldiers brought a bound and drugged woman to my doorstep, to bribe me to fight in their war, and pulled the bag off of her head and I saw her there—the woman from the vision at my Ascension, and who has haunted my dreams ever since—I knew it was the beginning of my end.
She had no idea who I was, or what we were to each other. She knew nothing about my fate or future with her, or how she was destined to kill me.
Which meant in the present . . . she was mine, to do with as I pleased.
And I wanted to see her crawling.
I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrators did a wonderful job of voicing this story. I like that there were both a male and female narrators. Not that one or the other can't voice both characters but, in this case, it really helped me to image the story play out in my head.
There are so many Beauty and the Beast retellings but this is the first that I can recall where Beast was not a human. I like that Rhaim is a mage. A refreshing unique twist to this retelling. Yes, Lisane and Rhaim share romance, but their story is more than just the "romance". Although, it got pretty intense and steamy between Rhaim and Lisane.
The way that the story progressed and both Rhaim and Lisane blossomed was great. Loved seeing Rhaim become more than a beast and Lisane has powers. Yes, Lisane is a heroine. I am looking forward to reading book two. Bend Her is a must read!