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At One's Beast

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Every girl and boy in the village of Frey fears the beast who lives in the forest. Ten years ago, the beast was formed from the town’s rage -- and the evil that lurks inside all people in moments of weakness. Every year since, the townspeople have sacrificed one of their own to appease his anger. This year the sacrifice does not go as planned. A young man saves the chosen ...more
Paperback, 1, 174 pages
Published July 24th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook

Why this book?
It seemed interesting

What I thought

I'm confused by this book... I don't know if I liked it or not. I have to think about it more. One things for sure I really hated the towns people, and I don't understand why they considered Zos a beast. What did he do to them? One thing I really like though is the relationship between Zos and Alcina. Like others say there are some similarities to Beauty and the Beast which is my favorite fairytale, so you would think I would love this.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received this book for a Read 4 Review.

The cover artwork and blurb definitely intrigued me. As I settled down to read the story, I began to notice similarities between this dark fantasy and the traditional fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. That's not a bad thing! I do enjoy fresh takes on old stories.

Here are some examples of what I mean. Oh and beware, this is basically going to spoil the whole book.

(view spoiler)
Daphne Walker
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be very involved and fast paced. It keeps the reader interested! I definitely read nearly half the book the first night I received it. Exciting, and I liked the metaphors and messages within the story line. Good character background and plot detail.
Elizabeth Krall
I was drawn to this story by an excerpt, which I thought had a sense of darkness and ritual. I was intrigued by the concept of a well that absorbed the bad thoughts and intentions of the town’s people, and then the idea of what would happen to a good person who fell into that well and absorbed the badness.

Unfortunately, the concept and the idea were the highlights of “At One’s Beast”. I do think there’s a story in here, but the plot and the characters need more work to bring it out.

Once Zos has
Cee (The Mistress Case)
I received this book for a Read for Review.

At One’s Beast is a fantasy read about sacrifice, betrayal, the thin line between losing yourself to good or evil, family, friendship, and love.

Zosimos was tormented by his inner and outer self. Consumed by revenge and bitterness for the village who betrayed him out of fear for the unknown and out of guilt for what they did to him, Zos was only tamed when Alcina, a brave and compassionate girl, reappeared in his life ten years later.

I’ll try to keep thi
Sofia Trindade
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I received this book for a Read for Review.
At One’s Beast is an amazing well written book, Rachel Barnard has a lovely away of writing!

Good points about this book:

-I think that Miss Barnard got the part about the duplicity of the human nature quite well, especially in the village people’s actions and Alcina when her friend is chosen. Most of us say we will be there for everything and anything but then when the time comes we get cold feet and don’t do anything to help those we call friends.

A.E. Albert
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Set in a fairy tale forest, At One's Beast tells the story of Alcina and a ferocious beast threatening the small village of Frey. Through a cruel twist of fate, she is chosen as the yearly sacrifice. But the town of Frey's gift to this monster alters Alcina's life forever.

At One's Beast is about seeing people as they truly are. Or perhaps, more importantly, choosing to see past the physical and judging people by condition of their heart.

This book is beautifully written. I was very impressed wi
Sheri J.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I put off reviewing because I love this book and I want to do it justice.
AT ONE'S BEAST is billed as a fairy tale twist and a low fantasy. I think it elevates both sub-genres by taking the basics of a moral tale and adding rich psychological complexity and atmosphere.
First, let me say, I was 'in' immediately and was driven to keep reading to the end - always key to a great read!
It starts with fairly traditional basics of Zos absorbing all the hate and evil of the town, and Alcina moving from fe
D.r. Howey
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
A relaxing fantasy getaway - I found, “At One’s Beast”, right after I posted a review of the same author's previous novel, “Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams”. Having enjoyed what I describe as “a refreshing, modern writing style and technique”, I was happy to find more work by the same author, Rachel Barnard. “At One’s Beast” is not similar to previous novels that I generally migrate to, but I was intrigued by the summary of the story printed on the rear Jacket Cover. On the surface, it appe ...more
David Rose
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-re-read
Substantial immersive short fantasy

This is an immersive fantasy for young adults, but with broader appeal and deeper purpose. It is a relatively quick read, what I would call a long novella or a short novel. The setting is the isolated pastoral village of Frey, which is surrounded by a wild and largely unknown forest.

The key physical feature in the story is a mysterious well in the forest, which the villagers use in an annual cleansing ceremony, as a receptacle of all their ill-will from the pas
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lana Axe
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing dark fantasy tale about a young girl named Alcina who is willing to risk her life to save her home, despite the fact that her friends and neighbors were ready to offer her up as a human sacrifice. She proved herself a character of worth right from the beginning, and I couldn't help admiring her courage throughout the story.

Inside the dark and spooky forest, a place I always love in fantasy, Alcina comes across the beast. Though he isn't the beast she expected. He's actually
Andrea Prepo
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria Bastedo
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rachel Barnard’s At One’s Beast is a compelling take on the original tale. The beast begins an innocent boy, infected with the scouring of other people’s hate. It’s a book that asks, what makes a person good or bad?

The boy falls in a pit of black thoughts and comes out so covered with the streaks of mental filth that he appears a monster. Inside his thoughts rage feelings of despair, hopelessness and suffocating oppression. He runs deep into the forest to escape the village that now fears him.

R.M. Gilmore
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Not my usual read, I found the story surprisingly interesting. A classic tale retold, At One's Beast is a solid YA with a well written plot. I have to say while the names were unique and I appreciated that, they were hard to pronounce (in my head) and by the middle of the book I had nicknames made up for the characters to avoid the brain fart while trying to read them over.
While there were lingering questions over the whys and hows of the town and the occupants, I felt that really wasn't the im
Vanessa Kings
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-loved
This book was perfect.
From the cover, which I've dedicated a few minutes to admire, to the story, a classical fantasy love story, to the message that is left as a moral, to see everyone as equals despite their look.
Zos is a 10-year-old boy that was "marked" by the beast, or so the town's inhabitants believe, he is exiled and separated from his mother at such young age. He is forced to live in the forest and to learn how to provide for himself.
Year after year the town offers someone as sacrifice
Ronesa Aveela
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"At One's Beast" is a fresh take on the classic "Beauty and the Beast." The characters are ones you can sympathize with. The story shows how people can push off their evil and attribute it to others, and then cast those people aside. Zos becomes a scape goat of sorts after he falls into the well. The ages of pain, guilt, jealousy, and all other negative emotions that have been tossed into the well adhere to him--literally--imbuing his being. Then Alcina arrives. Each fears the other at first, bu ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I read this for the Read4Review. Honestly, I must say it's not quite catchy, it's quite a little boring to me. However, I really liked the plot alot, the unique character names, it was honestly awesome. Rachel's unique-ness is awesome! I would highly recommend this for young beginners! ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting take on The Beauty and the Beast story. Rachel's version is a dark psychological look at how people perceive others. It's not your Disney-version type of story. The town in this story acts as another character feeding on the negativity of the townspeople. Fear plays a big role in the story where the town has a lottery every year to sacrifice one of the town's children to the dark presence in the forest. Interesting twist and character interactions. ...more
Lori Byrd
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great. How can a town disown one of their own and pay such a heavy price for that decision. It really makes you think about the cruelty and heartlessness involved. I loved it.
G.J. Griffiths
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
At One's Beast would appear to be a take on "Beauty and the Beast" from Perrault’s classic Fairy Tales, presumably aimed at an older reader from late teens to young adults. There is a beast of sorts and a young maiden, but not much else relates to the story most of us remember.
There is a commendable effort made by Rachel Barnard to weave a tale of Good versus Evil, with lots of twists and turns in events and in the relationships between the three main characters: Zos, Aethon and Alcina. I do thi
A.M. Reynwood
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I went into this book and got something I wasn't expecting. I read the first paragraph and loved it, and throughout the story I found various pieces that Rachel Barnard described rather eloquently, but I can't say I was head over heels. The first few chapters were a little rough, in that there was a lot (I thought) that could have been elaborated on to give a better understanding of how things stood. Some more explanation on the significance of the jackal and what the Jackal's Horn is would have ...more
Hilary Tofu
Jan 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015, own
I received this book for a r4r.

I think this book has a lot of potential. The story line feels very fresh and unique. I love the whole idea of a small, superstitious village forced to send little girl sacrifices to a terrorizing beast. I was excited to see where the story would go.

I think, however, the book's main issue is its lack of development. For example, the first chapter talks about some evil well that the villagers must discard their evil into, but despite that small blurb we never find o
Nov 24, 2014 rated it liked it
At One’s Beast, a “light-gray”—dark, but not so dark—unban fantasy should appeal to middle and high school age readers. Fear of the dark, fear of the stranger, family and love for each other all wrapped up in an gripping story of two young people— Zos and Alcina—banished from their village and how they met and coped with life in a hostile dark forest and a growing love for each other. The families left behind are broken, and, Aethon, her almost love, at first betrays her then champions her. A mo ...more
Toni Kief
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would suggest this Indie published book to not only the young but also more mature readers. The writing is almost like poetry, and it is a interesting story about judgement and society. Some may only see the story of Alcine and Zos, but I found it intriguing how society can label and destroy. Great read.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was a very unique fairy tale. It brings together many elements to make a story of an unfortunate girl and boy from a town. Throughout the book I found many reasons to admire the main character, Alcina. Overall I found the book to be a good, easy read.
Amy Kwei
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 14, 2016
rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2014
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Rachel Barnard is a Pacific Northwester from Florida who is always looking to work the changes in her life into a story, plot, or character.

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