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The Rakshasa's Bride

(A Fairy Tale Retold #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Preeti Kamla has the evil eye. It’s the only explanation for the tragedy and disgrace besetting her once wealthy family. But when a handsome stranger in the village square tells her he has broken her curse, Preeti almost believes him.

Until a twist of fate whisks her away from everything she knows, and the gruesome Demon Rajah claims her as his bride.

A rich and romantic re
Kindle Edition
Published December 24th 2014
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3.81  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Christina Baehr
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairy tale, so I've read a lot of re-tellings over the years, and I wasn't sure if there would be more to this one than a clever foreignisation (which works really well, actually). As I read, I started to suspect that Suzannah Rowntree was hinting at something much bigger and more awesome - something a little like Lewis's "Till We Have Faces", albeit in more modest novella form. Happily, I was right. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil it, but if y ...more
3.5 stars for this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It was good that I first read Suzannah Rowntree's best installments in her novella series of fairy tale retellings as my introduction to her, because those showed me how good she is at it, instead of this one that seems to be, if not her first book, then one of her very earliest, judging from the bunch of beginner rough edges to be found in it.

It's been easy to tell exactly what didn't work in The Rakshasa's Bride for me. It's a few details I
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick, delightful read! As a lover of the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale, I was not disappointed, but neither did familiarity with the story cause me to lose interest.
Suzannah Rowntree did an excellent job in this retelling--her setting and characters were vivid and deftly captured, having just the right amount of description so that I felt I could see it all, but was never bogged down with too much of it. I especially enjoyed the ethinic flavor to it. From the first sentence in the
Leah Good
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Experience the classic tale of Beauty and The Beast with an allegorical spin and ethnic setting.

Preeti and her father have the evil eye. There's no question about it. Ever since Babuji's fortune was lost, Preeti's own sister has ignored them. Though unhappy, Preeti accepts her fate in typical Hindu fashion -- she must be paying for sins committed in a previous life. Just as their luck seems ready to change, tragedy strikes. Babuji's simple gift of a lotus for Preeti must be paid for with her fre
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This contains some truly gorgeous writing- Suzannah Rowntree's other books have just jumped higher on my to-read list.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Though I have very little familiarity with the Indian culture in which The Rakshasa's Bride takes place, and only a cursory acquaintance with the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast, I enjoyed this short retelling because of the author's beautiful writing. Suzannah Rowntree has a gift for creating lifelike, relatable characters and crafting a setting with such vivid imagery that I was drawn into it in spite of the unfamiliarity. Christian readers will also recognize a graceful touch of allegory, s ...more
J.M. Stengl
This little book captures both the lush beauty of India and the darkness beneath the lives of everyday people. Yes, it is an allegorical retelling of Beauty and the Beast and closely follows the classic story line, yet it is its own thing as well, with themes that make a reader think. A likeness to Lewis's Til We Have Faces is also clear, yet I didn't mind this fresh take on the timeless theme.

Despite knowing where the story must eventually go (which can be reassuring!), I felt impatience and co
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A really nice piece of work - this is what Christian 'innovation' should look like. At least one other review nailed a feeling I also noticed, that of transportation to another world (I'd call that true 'realistic fiction,' in an attempt to redeem that withering of all soul-withering terms). The prose suits the story like a hand in a well-fitted glove, and the style is quite different from anything else I've read from Suzannah yet. And form melds with the content in another way - to restate what ...more
Kelsey Bryant
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this beautiful story. The prose is lyrical, in the spirit of old, exotic tales. Suzannah Rowntree retold "Beauty and the Beast" very innovatively. The Indian setting made it more intriguing than the average fairy tale retelling. I loved the descriptions of the Rakshasa's palace. It was delightfully surprising the way she spun Christian allegory into the story; it's not immediately obvious. The story provides much food for thought.
I enjoy fairytale retellings, but Beauty and the Beast is always my favorite. This one is set in India, portraying a culture that has always intrigued me. My favorite part is the amazing writing. Suzannah Rowntree may not be well-known in the literary world, but I believe she will be one day! Her word pictures are gorgeous. I easily saw (and felt and smelled) everything. The slight allegorical theme was another winner for me. Good books always have to have some symbolism in my opinion! On the wa ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been known to get grumpy about people messing with Beauty and the Beast, but this was brilliant. Very much in the C.S. Lewis school of storytelling; closer to Narnia than Till We Have Faces in terms of accessibility.
Amy Isham
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very quick, punchy novella. I have read a number of 'Beauty and the Beast' retellings, my favourite by Robin McKinley and there are some similarities with this story. However, the depth of research and historical context is completely unique. I read this on the early bus to morning after zero sleep. It went far too quickly.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is a real treat to read! I have not read the Beauty and the Beast stories, so I did not know what to expect, but I did not expect this!
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A Beauty and the Beast retelling by way of Bollywood (there are sections mentioning singing and chase-dancing, so that's how I imagined it)

I found the unfamiliar cultural terms and writing style a little confusing to begin with, but once it found its flow (past the early flashback) it began to feel more enjoyable. It's written in a very flat, traditional fairy tale tone full of lush imagery and descriptions. Preeti might not be the most fascinating character, but it's her story and motives rathe
Sophia Field
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It has been years since I was formally introduced to fairy tale retellings. I began reading The Rakshasa's Bride one weekend while my family was attending a conference. Every time a session finished, I whipped out my e-Reader and picked up where I'd left off. I finally finished the story in the carpark that afternoon, leaning against the door whilst waiting for Mum to finish talking to someone.

In short, The Rakshasa's Bride got me.

While some fairy tale retellings are brilliant for their similari
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so impressed by this. I’ve come to expect good things from this author, but what I think really blew me away in this one was her incorporation of Christian elements. Christian fiction is really hard to write without seeming preachy or simplistic. This was neither. If you aren’t a Christian, you might have even missed that parallel, but to me it was very strong and powerful. Also the last thing I expected was Song of Songs to make its way in, but it totally worked and I loved it. Excellent ...more
Raquel Evans
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, india
This was a reasonably enjoyable retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and the setting of India was interesing, but the allegory aspect felt shoehorned in, and turned the story on it's head from what I expected--not in the fun twist kind of way, just in a confusing kind of way. As far as content goes though, it was completely clean, and should be safe for children of any age (unless you're concerned about the confusing allegory aspect of the story). 3 1/2 stars.
Candice Allen
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful twist on my favorite fairy tale

I loved this book. The language was rich and descriptive. I was caught up in the story right away and kept reading until the end. I loved the culture built into the story and the twist in the beast becomes hero. What a wonderful book, I can't wait to read more from this author.
Kate Ramsey
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every one of Suzannah Rowntree's fairy tales retold are delightful and unique. This one is no exception. A fascinating twist on Beauty and the Beast.
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it

A nice, clean, concise retelling of a timeless old favourite. What more can I say? Damn Amazon and their 20 word policy! :)
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Hi! I live in a big house in rural Australia with my awesome parents and siblings, writing historical fantasy fiction. You can visit me online at

If you like the mythic fantasy of Stephen Lawhead, S. A. Chakraborty or Naomi Novik, you'll probably like my stories too!

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A Fairy Tale Retold (6 books)
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  • The City Beyond the Glass