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Spirited (Once Upon A Time, #7)
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Spirited (Once Upon a Time)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  2,340 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
War. Rage. Magic. Love.
In May 1756 war is formally declared between the British and the French. During this highly dangerous time, Isabella Sevens is travelling with her father to the British stronghold Fort William Henry.
In the forest, Wusamequin, the young and handsome medicine man, looks to avenge the death of his wife and child at the hands of British soldiers. Whe
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Simon Pulse (first published November 1st 2004)
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Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought I lost this book, but I was so happy to find it in the same spot I've left it over a month ago. I still have high hopes for this world! The book itself, on the other hand, is a disappointment. Another unfortunate consequence of my predilection to read books with pretty covers.

Nancy Holder’s colonial romance "Spirited" is thoroughly dispiriting. She bills it as an homage to "Last of the Mohicans" and as a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", suggesting that being a Native American is a
Jan 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2013
I didn't like this one. At. All.
I have a huge problem with the concept that the tall, young, handsome Native American man was a beast simply because he was Native American. That so did not work for me. There was nothing beastly about him, nothing ugly or disfiguring, no curses working on him. She saw him as a "beast" or something less than human because of who he was, but for me, an author implying that simply not being a white European makes someone a beast was disgusting. I didn't like that.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is good and I really got into it (I cried a lot), but I didn't like all the fight scenes.

Okay, let me explain. This is a version of Beauty and the Beast set in the 1700s during the French & Indian Wars in the Americas. Beauty is young Isabella from England and the Beast is the Native American Shaman who kidnaps her and her father (an Army Doctor) after his tribe kills of their entire soldier escort. THAT is what I didn't like. All the killing in this book. But their relationship i
Shellina Borgman
Mar 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am half Apache, and the representation of native life is ridiculous. Also the fact that the main Native character is supposed to represent a beast is upsetting.
The books starts off with a navajo prayer, but is also supposed to be a retelling of last of the mohicans.
Maybe I should write a retelling of Mulan and have lots of haiku and talk about geishas....
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several authors are contributing to the Once Upon a Time series; hence the varied tone and uneven quality. Spirited is by Nancy Holder, who specializes in teen dark fantasy (i.e., Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

The concluding author's note in the book explains that it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I think most teens would not have guessed the connection. For the most part it reads like an ordinary "noble savage romance" rather than a fairy tale: White girl is captured by Indian and the
Gah I didn't like this book at all when I read it a while ago. I wanted to like it because it seemed interesting. They only word that can accurately describe this is weird. It was just really weird.

Isabella and Wusamequin's relationship just came off creepy to me. He kept calling her Mahwah each time he talked to her. I swear the word Mahwah was in the book 500 times. It was just like ok...enough already! I have to give this books props though because it made me laugh. Not because there was any
Aug 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of fairytales retold, reimagined, or twisted on it's side
1.5 stars. A retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." 14+
Took me a while to slog through this. I never got into the book. Didn't care for the characters. Isabella didn't strike me as a Belle\Beauty character, which might have thrown off the groove. The whole thing just didn't feel like "Beauty and the Beast" to me at all. Certainly a very different way of telling it. One thing that I liked was that there was absolutely no Insta-love. They actually have to get to know one another before they fall in
My favorite fairy tale has always been Beauty and the Beast. I won't even deny that that had something to do with the five star rating. Any story that has that kind of love is a favorite of mine.

Isabella is a young British woman who ends up kidnapped by an Indian tribe during the French and Indian War. What is a young woman to do in the midst of savages?

On a side note: I hate how Europeans treated the natives when they arrived. It makes me so angry I could scream. In Spirited, I was glad to see
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A creative Native American / Englishwoman re-do of the Beauty and the Beast story - although I never really considered the main male character a "beast". Set during the French and Indian War it tells of an Englishwoman, Isabella, and her doctor father who have come to help heal people, when they are set upon by attacking Indians. Isabella is taken captive by the Indian tribe's medicine man, Wusamequin (the Beast) and through healing each other, they eventually realize their love for one another. ...more
As I was reading it, I didn't connect that it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Now that I think about it, it's quite obvious. I liked how different it was, but it got a little confusing when it went into all the magic stuff. I loved how you got the perspective from both sides. Would definately recamend this to people who love the retelling of fairy tales.
I had such high expectations for this one as an avid collector of B&B retellings AND a lover of French and Indian War era. Big letdown. This was neither fish nor fowl... not full on fantasy/fairy tale nor really engaging historical fiction, Beauty and the Beast aspect was tenuous at best.
Not my favorite of this series. With many of the others, I loved how the tale was re-imagined, in this one, things just did not fit, in my opinion. I did not like the characters, or the setting for this story.
Kaylynn Johnsen
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, ugh. Possibly the worst retelling of Beauty and the Beast ever. Best part, the poem in the opening of the book. A Navajo Prayer, even though this book is about Algonquin tribes. Thank goodness for that prayer.
Kaylean Whiting
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is one of those books that gets a higher rating due to entertainment value and readability rather than good writing and stellar character/world development. I flew through this. I love Beauty and The Beast. The Last of The Mohicans is my husband's favorite movie. We watch it once a month, at least. So, I'm probably biased. This was definitely cheesy and flawed, but also enjoyable and a very quick read. A guilty pleasure, for sure.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I feel it is only fair to note that I tore through this book and did like it for the most part but I have a couple gripes which is why it ended with a two instead of three or four star rating.

First off, this is the re-telling of Beauty and the Beast (which, btw, is one of my favorite fairy tales, so no pressure or anything Ms. Holder!)set in early colonial America (one of my favorite time periods...) centered around Isabella who is the daughter of a surgeon in the British army. Their origina

Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had fond memories of this book from my childhood, but that doesn't always bode well for my revised adult opinion of the item in question. However when I reread this book I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked it even better.

This book tells the tale of Isabella, a young englishwoman in the americas who while traveling to a fort with her physician father and a military escort, is ambushed by Native Americans. Fear, desperation, and courage characterize much of the first part of this novel a
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
"Spirited" is a retelling of "Beauty & the Beast." It takes place in the colonies during the British and French War. Isabella and her father, who is a doctor, are going to Fort William Henry to help with a case of the pestilence. While on their way to the fort, Isabella, her father, and the group of soldiers they are with, are attacked by a group of Indians. Many are killed, and Isabella and her father are taken hostage by the Indians. It's here where Isabella meets Wusamequin, medicine man ...more
Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
When I first started reading this book, I never really thought it would stick to the original "Beauty and the Beast" story. I was right. I felt I was reading more of a Pocahontas retelling for some reason. This doesn't mean it was a bad retelling, oh no. It was a great story. Reading this series, I've found not to judge it with the original stories, because they're not like that at all. This story was refreshing. One of the few stories that doesn't have many plot holes nor it spontaneously inclu ...more
Emily Eastman
Nov 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: once-upon-a-time
I liked this book. It didn't grasp a 5 though because it was kind of wwierd. It changed things up a lot. The characters never stayed true to their character. For example, in the beginning Isabella said her father never said a bad thing about anyone. Toward the end he sat around bad mouthing a soldier even though the soldier went back to rescue his daughter. It also would radomly throw things in without any explanation such as the little faerie people. One day Isabella just saw the medicne man ho ...more
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
I couldn't handle it any more. Half way I started to skim the pages. This book just doesn't work for me.

I must admit that I wasn’t very excited to read this book in the first place. My first book from this author was The rose bride and I gave it two stars in the end. My main problem with that book also happened here in Spirited: I was bored. The story seemed to go on and on. I also wasn’t invested in the shallow plot or the annoying characters.

I actually s
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Spirited is a mish mash of a book. This is marketed to the YA audience but I would have a hard time letting anyone under 17, unless they were VERY mature for their age, reading it due to the amount of violence in the book. Granted, its not anything outside of what most likely actually happened during that time period, but the graphic nature of the story is NOT my idea of YA reading.

The book started out fairly interesting, an unusual mix of 'Beauty and the Beast' crossed with 'Last of the Mohican
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Another book by Holder and another mixed review for her. First the negative: I'm actually a little surprised that there are two retellings of Beauty and the Beast in this series. Perhaps this one tended to not follow the "original" so much they decided to do another one, who knows. Again in her notes Holder says that her inspiration came from the Last of the Mohicans. I'm bothered that she doesn't just write her own book. I realize that this is a retelling of an original--Beauty and the Beast, b ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: once-upon-a-time
I thought this was a really good retelling of "The Last of the Mohicans". Though it dragged a little bit in the beginning, it quickly picks up. Nancy Holder is a very good writer who knows how to keep readers interested.

The year is 1756, and war between the French and the British colonies is underway. Sixteen-year-old Isabella Stevens and her father have just arrived from England and are on their way to Fort William Henry to help wounded soldiers, when their traveling party is attacked by the na
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
I really enjoy stories that have elements incorporated form tribal cultures. Disclaimer: I'm not going to say whether or not the way Native Americans are portrayed in this book are correct or not...I'm not an expert in Native American cultures. Actually I'm not even sure if the specific tribe is mentioned. But I enjoy books that incorporate these cultures because they are interesting. The most enjoyable aspects of these books are as follows...

1. The strong female lead
2. The emphasis on mercy an
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book -- for the most part, this series is sterling in general, so I was expecting to like this story. Instead, it sits on my 'favorite books' shelf. Isabella is a young British woman in the colonies while Wusamequin is a disenchanted Native American shaman whose family was murdered by white soldiers. Sometimes I feel like the trope with Native American characters is to make them too stoic or hard, especially in the beginning -- but that was not the case here. Wusamequin's emo ...more
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: really-like, medieval
wusamequin(strange name, but, *shrug*) and isabella met when wusamequin's tribe attack isabella and her father while they were bringing medicine to a keep. captured, isabella and her father tried to escape and partly succeeded because her father got away, but isabella was re-captured. she twisted her ankle when escaping so now wusamequin, who's the tribe's medicine man, has to fix her up. wusamequin refuses to call her isabella, but instead call her mahwah, which means beautiful. mahwah lives to ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
- 2.5 stars! Goodreads needs to add the half star feature!

- In the copy of the book I read, the font on every other page was terrible. The lines are fat and it makes it harder to read.

- The story isn't so much a Beauty and Beast re-telling as much as a Dances with Wolves story. To be is Dances with Wolves but the roles are switched. The man is an Indian and the woman is English. There wasn't even a beast...he was an Indian. I know the white people viewed them as beasts, but I prefer
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, wonderful retelling of the "Beauty and the Beast". It takes place during 1756, there is war between the French and the English. Wusamequin is a medicine man for one of the Indian tribes. He has lost his wife and son to a brutal display of the British soldiers. He must avenge his families deaths in order for them to walk the "Road of the Stars". Isabella is on a journey with her father and a group of British officers, they are taking medicine to Fort Henry . There has been an epidemic ...more
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Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling author of the WICKED Series, has just published CRUSADE - the first book in a new vampire series cowritten with Debbie Viguie. The last book her her Possession series is set to release in March 2011.

Nancy was born in Los Altos, California, and her family settled for a time in Walnut Creek. Her father, who taught at Stanford, joined the navy and the family t
More about Nancy Holder...

Other Books in the Series

Once Upon a Time (1 - 10 of 19 books)
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  • Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of The Little Mermaid
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  • Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute
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  • Golden:  A Retelling of Rapunzel
  • Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince
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