Beauty and the Werewolf (Five Hundred Kingdoms Series #6)

Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey 3.5 out of 5.Mercedes Lackey is an author that is evidently growing better and better with age and output. I've read her novels since I first started getting into reading a lot of fantasy as a genre at about age 13, and this most recent foray into her splendid imagination was even better than my first reading experience 11 years ago. Her fairytale/myth/legend inspired Five Hundred Kingdoms series has a level of fun and whimsy present in every volume that I truly enjoy (a quick mention of "Jenny Pluck Pears" as a nod to our world's "Jimmy Crack Corn" made me laugh within the first three chapters) and wish was present in more novels these days. I just have fun with these books; it's practically impossible not to. They're not perfect, but I often enjoy the experience of reading them more than enough to forgive many issues I might have. I've had a great time with each of the first four in this unique and original world of Godmothers and Tradition (I've yet to read number five, The Sleeping Beauty) and Beauty and the Werewolf was, happily for me, no different. An engaging mix and remix of Red Riding Hood as well as Beauty and the Beast, I sped through this latest magical offering from Ms. Lackey and loved every minute.Unlike previous novels in this same series, Beauty and the Werewolf is told from the sole, first-person perspective of the heroine, Bella. While I liked the back-and-forth of the first four with the switching POV's from male to female, I relished the chance to really connect to Bella, without interruption from another viewpoint. Due at least partly to this, I liked Bella intensely - she's up there with Andromeda from the #2 novel One Good Knight, as my all-time favorite woman in this series. Unlike the other leads from the series, Bella and her life, are largely ignorant of the Tradition - and I liked the switcheroo from the others. It's a nice refresher on the rules and ideas of this fantasy world after more than a few months away. Lackey doesn't go overboard and drown the reader in an infodump, however, Isabella just learns as she goes. I liked Bella immensely: she's smart, she knows it and she uses it. Yes, an actual heroine with a brain. Much more down-to-earth and "modern-day" for lack of a better term, than her stepsister or stepmother, she's the most "normal" character of the novel. I liked that while Bella is quick-thinking and capable, she's not the most martial of heroines: she is a character that favors brains over brawn anytime. She's a very logical, coolly smart woman who doesn't rush into anything, including relationships. . . leading me to . . To finish this review, just click right here.