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The Subtle Beauty

(Crowns of the Twelve)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that - of all her sisters - she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory's betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm - a prince no one ...more
Published January 2nd 2014 by Afterglow Productions
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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  454 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm going to be bluntly honest. The prologue was really long and boring. So, I've summed it up into 5 easy steps.
1. This good guy, got a sword from this bad guy.
2. He went crazy.
3. He killed a lot of people, including his wife.
4. Because he went crazy his son is deformed. So, he went back and killed the bad guy and busted up the sword into twelve pieces.
5. Collin and Glory are best friends and they got bored one day and decided to go play in the woods, even though the were told not to and
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Woman, vanity be thy name, and young Glory, the most beautiful daughter of the High King of the Twelve Kingdoms, wants nothing more than to find even more beauty in a marriage of love. Is it meant to be? Her father has announced she will wed a prince no one has seen, a hideously deformed recluse, cursed for the sins of his father. Why should a woman as beautiful as Glory be forced into a loveless marriage to a monster?

Sent to the prince’s keep, she awaits his audience, and awaits and awaits,
Madhulika Liddle
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by fairy tales—and, over the past several years, by fairy tale adaptations. One of the fairy tales that I especially love is Beauty and the Beast , and I’m always on the lookout for good adaptations of that classic tale: of true love blossoming despite the (seeming) repulsiveness of one of the characters; the emphasis on going beyond looks; and the point that beauty lies within, below the surface.

Ann Hunter’s The Subtle Beauty is a YA adaptation of
J.A. Ironside
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would describe this as a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and is entitled The Subtle Beauty.
It is the story of a king who made a pact with an “evil” man in order to expand his kingdom, and gained the use of a mystical sword. But by doing so, he became consumed with the power that the sword gave him. Finally, he is so consumed with the power that his wife asks that the gods take her to make him come home and be with their unborn son. The son is born but is deformed as the king is
Suzie Quint
Jan 11, 2016 marked it as dnf
I love fairy tale retelling, so it's rare for me not to finish one. Sadly, I couldn't even get through the prologue on this before I was looking at the reviews. They convinced me this is not for me because much of what was said about the story, I saw signs of in the first few pages, but mostly it was the simplistic writing style that made me abandon this.

So sad.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Good, quick read. Some parts didn't seem relevant but overall a good storyline. Not a must-read but still fun!
Lindsay Wheeler
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Subtle Beauty (Book Review)
Posted on March 12, 2014 by lvadams
(Copied from my blog at

So, after the new promotional pic made the rounds on the interwebs, I became acquainted with another gryphon author. Ann Hunter. She pointed me in the direction of the book, and I couldn’t help but to check it out.

Really, I’m a sucker for gryphons.

So. her book. Here is a cover pic.


According to Goodreads, The Subtle Beauty tells the story of:

A cursed prince. A vain beauty.
Crystal Cierlak
The reason I read is to escape, to settle into that transformative experience where I am so lost in story that by the time I put the book down I almost do a double-take at the fact that I'm in the real world and not the literary world I hold in my hands. I just didn't have that with The Subtle Beauty.

It's not for a lack of good writing. Ann Hunter is quite talented and it shows in every description of the landscape. I just simply couldn't inhabit the world she so lovingly created for me as her
Haley Keller
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect but being intrigued by the idea of a book that involved Celtic elements. It wasn't until later that I realized that the book is basically a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast, so I really wish I had enjoyed this book more. I honestly can't say I was a fan though.

It started off on a not so great note for me with the prologue. This book is pretty short with ten chapters plus a prologue. The prologue
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review Posted at Rachael Turns Pages

This novel was beautiful, absolutely beautiful! I fell in love! The Subtle Beauty is a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast where Glory is our Belle and the cursed Prince Eoghan, the beast.

Glory thinks that she has found her true love and the man she will marry, but the King's Falconer, Colin is no fit for a princess as lovely as Princess Glory. King Balthazaar announces Glory's bettothal to Prince Eoghan of the Blood Realm and Glory's world is turned
Amy Freese
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first I have read by Ann Hunter, it will not be the last! I was drawn into her story-telling very nicely. I felt like a child sitting near the fireplace as grandma told a tale. Coming from a 40 yr old...that is a magical place to return to! I thank the author for that wonderful gift.

I am usually a fan of Adult level books as I find the lower levels to be lacking in details or without enough depth to the story. The Subtle Beauty is geared for middle grade to YA readers, so I was
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
I received this book from Story Cartel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is a retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast but I would say that it is more the 'old' story (La Belle et la Bete. Par Madame de Villeneuve), not the Disney version. Glory is very vain indeed although she is still young. However, this story is set in olden times when girls were living very different lives to now at a young age. I can honestly say that I really didn't like Glory until very near the end.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The subtle Beauty, Wow! When sleep is a necessary burden, just one more page, one more page. This Medieval tale flows imaginatively through the twelve kingdoms with a lilt, & celtic flair.
A heroine who starts out as a vain little beast becomes as beautiful on the inside as well as lovely in appearance. Her love interest Colin's courage and tenacity gives the book substance. Xander turning from good to evil stands as a warning to us all. Characters who teach morals, courage, and love give
Michelle Bray
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read a nice entertaining book this evening. I thought it would be a silly romance novel, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was royalty, mystical creatures, romance, war, magic, danger lurking in the shadows, and an ending that totally surprised me. I liked author Ann Hunter's writing style. She kept a nice steady pace throughout the book. I was never bored, nor did I have to wait long for the story to become interesting.

For those of you that know me, reading a book takes a huge effort. It
Aj Sterkel
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
The Subtle Beauty is a twist on the classic Beauty & The Beast tale. Princess Glory is the most beautiful princess in the Twelve Kingdoms, but her vanity sometimes causes her to behave like a beast. That changes when she meets a sweet, arrogant, and ugly gryphon who teaches her that outer beauty isn't everything. The danger of becoming obsessed with beauty is also echoed in the book's subplot. Xander and Colin both own beautiful enchanted swords that cause their owners to behave like beasts. ...more
This was a weird book. It was like a cross between a Norse fairy tale and a grim fairy tale. Violent and disjointed. A lot of characters doing a lot of odd things.I just didn't like the writing style or the feel of the book. The characters were not well done and I disliked most of them. The two main characters make such a quick turn around that you almost don't recognize them. The leading lady goes from brat and prideful to loving and kind then depressed and suicide so quickly it's silly. I did ...more
Patricia Horton-gerschler
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Subtle Beauty is a twisted tale of a princess who doesn't realize she's burdened with the beastly curse of vanity. Her sisters are also obliviously cursed with the seven deadly sins. Lucky for them they have a loving father and king who knows them better than they themselves and matches them to husbands who are their balance. How often do we not realize our burdens and stubbornly resist yielding to the will of the Father? The Subtle Beauty reminds us that what we want isn't always what we ...more
Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my all time favourite fairy tales and i love reading retellings of it.I really enjoyed this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with interesting twists to the plot,here we find our Beauty as vain and the cursed Beast as amusing which i found it amusing and interesting read to me!
Thoroughly good,easy and a quick read!
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another fairytale with a twist, but this one stays within the realm of fairytales.

The author took me on a journey with Beauty where I was okay with her, then I didn't like her. Moving onto despising her and then heartbroken for her.

The final resolution was a bit rushed for me, but I still enjoyed it.

I will be checking out her other works.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A retelling of Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorite fairy tales. It is a great take on it and, I liked this book a lot better than Moonlight by the same author. The characters are much more complex and the story flows better. I would definitely recommend this to others.
Priscilla Cook
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story, really enjoy it.

The story starts with Xander and his wife, a Celtic Princess, Aowyn. They are very much in love and excited about the baby that will soon be born. The gods show Aowyn the baby in a vision. They show her “Eoghan, prince of the future Crown Realm”. She tells Xander that he will have a son. Because his wife is a princess his son will be a prince. He’s consumed with finding a way to give his son a better inheritance. He want to provide more than the small, decrepit
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A tale of woe, power, enchantment, and tragedy in Blackthorn Keep, Morgorth swamp, and Winterholme. The birth of a son was soon to be expected for Xander and Princess Aowyn. The fortress of Blackthorn Keep was deteriorating and the small plot of land was measly for the right-to-be Prince. Leading to Sylas Mortas of Morgorth Swamp, helping Xander with gaining numerous land, by giving an enchanted falchion with a mind of its own. The conquest was successful. However, tragedy struck.

The story takes
Heather Beatty-eastman
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Too many cliches. This might be okay for younger readers (middle schoolers maybe?).

The use of "in to" vs "into" was wrong 99% of the time.

The passage of time was confusing; this book needs editing for the story to flow better. For instance, Glory is taken to live with her betrothed and a month goes by in her time line. The next chapter takes us back to "the next day" from Colin's perspective and then the story goes forward from there so that when we see Glory again, that month never passed and
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review found here

This story had an appeal to me because it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling- a fairy tale which I adore. This particular one was much different than others I have seen, but it still was a beautiful tale of romance.

Glory and Colin, childhood sweethearts, seek to elope the same night it is announced that Glory is betrothed to a prince said to be cursed. When Glory ends up at Blackthorn keep, she wants nothing more than for Colin to come to her rescue, and he's trying his
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that - of all her sisters - she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory's betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm - a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. ...more
Kim  Gregory
This was a very complicated story to me. I had trouble getting into it, but once I finally did get into it, there were parts that I didn't want to get out of. The parts where Colin was looking for Glory, well, I skipped through those - too much cogitating. Some ideas that were introduced (conversations overheard between the Gryphon and Eoghan's father (I can't remember his name right now)) never resolved. Then the ending was without sufficient explanation for me. Overall this could have been a ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast beauty and the beast

I think an accurate description of this book is the Seven Deadly Sins meets classic Beauty and the Beast. Picture that and you have an exact idea of what this book and all the books in this series are. It follows a vain girl and a beast who just wants to end his curse and feel love.
If you like retellings that are a very fast read you could check this one out. It's not the best I've read. But not the worst.
Conceptually the story was excellent, but the writing was repetitive... literally. There were several places in the book that the author used (or reused) the exact same passage. I was as if she were trying to make a particular word count. Either take the time to write a unique passage or shorten the book, don't waste your reader's time will filler and fluff. Honestly it dropped a four star story to about a 2 1/2. Very rarely do I start a book and not finish it. But this one came close.
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, 2016, ann-hunter
I took a break from reading after I got about a quarter way through this book. This was a lovely retelling of beauty and the beast! Not at all what you would expect. Dont let my break in the read cause you to be reluctant since I normally read everything pretty quickly. It was a wonderful story, can't wait to read the next!
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Multi-award winning author, Ann Hunter, is the creator of the young adult fantasy series Crowns of the Twelve (including the novels The Subtle Beauty, Moonlight, Fallen, with A Piece of Sky, Ashes, and The Rose In The Briar to follow). She likes cherry soda with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez ...more

Other books in the series

Crowns of the Twelve (7 books)
  • Moonlight
  • Fallen
  • A Piece of Sky
  • The Rose in the Briar
  • Ashes
  • In The Mean While