Publisher: Walker Books
Author: Zoe Marriott
I received this copy of Barefoot on the Wind from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.
A magical retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” set in a fairy tale Japan. A companion title to Zoë Marriott’s critically acclaimed Shadows on the Moon. There is a monster in the forest... Everyone in Hana’s remote village on the mountain knows that straying too far into the woods is a death sentence. When Hana’s father goes missing, she is the only one who dares try to save him. Taking up her hunting gear, she goes in search of the beast, determined to kill it – or be killed herself. But the forest contains more secrets, more magic and more darkness than Hana could ever have imagined, and the beast is not at all what she expects... (Publishers' blurb)
This book had a lot to live up to because Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales! As soon as I started Barefoot on the Wind, I fell in love with the writing and the story. This is a stunning and creative take on the beloved story.
Zoe Marriot's writing is gorgeous, evoking both the fantastical version of Japan and the dark, beautiful quality that I love about traditional fairy tales.
I was lucky enough to hear Zoe talk about feminism at the YA Shot Convention and she described her goal of reinventing the original story on a foundation of feminism. I really liked this aspect of the book, that Hana wasn't constrained by the tropes of fairy tales or the time period. She was very much in control of her destiny and she didn't need anybody to rescue her!
The plot of this world was very richly imagined. I loved how the fairy tale was used to underpin the story but there were so many layers added to the narrative and the mythology behind it.
This book has made me want to read more fairy tale retellings and lots more books by Zoe Marriott!