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As Old as Time

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What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast?

When Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle's mind — memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants.

Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

484 pages, Hardcover

First published September 6, 2016

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About the author

Liz Braswell

30 books4,853 followers
After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games. Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead. She also has short stories in Geektastic and Who Done It and a new series of reimagined fairy tales coming out, starting with A Whole New World—a retelling of Aladdin.
She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day. You can email her at me@lizbraswell.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,245 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,613 followers
December 9, 2017
I just read the most wonderful story =) ♥

At first I was a little confused and then my light bulb went off!

This starts a story of Rosalind and Maurice. Rosalind had magical powers as did many in the village. But the evil King and Queen didn't like this and starting taking all of the magical people away. They were attacked on the streets, etc. Most of these les charmantes were very nice people - ish. Most of the ones that were left, moved to right outside the village to a new village of their own. Maurice and Rosalind had little Belle =) ♥

Cut to awhile down the road and Belle is older, she trades the beast of a hidden castle to take her prisoner instead of her father. < -- yeah that sounds all crazy to those that don't really know the story but you will just have to read it to find out the whole beginning stuff =) No spoilers today!

Belle finds that she's in an enchanted castle, or is she . . .

Almost everything was fluttering and shuffling: the china was indeed waking from whatever slumber it enjoyed; dishes were carefully shuddering themselves to life; teacups were bouncing and trying to get out of their glass cabinet prison. The stove, which seemed so cheerful and warm and fiery at the end of the room, now began to yawn and stretch its great black iron arms and exhaust pipe. Bell drew into herself a little, alarmed. Stories of witches with their fires and stoves and terrible, terrible endings played through her head. Baba Yaga, Hansel and Gretel. . .

Belle finds out about the curse on the place and wants to help the Beast and servants out. They also find out a revelation about the curse. What?!

It was all just super fun to me and I enjoyed the twist on the tale. I also didn't have to listen to singing. I don't really like musicals! =(

And the ending was pretty happy indeed.

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,771 followers
February 21, 2023
**3.5-stars rounded up**

An new and imaginative twist on the tale as old as time.

This third installment in Disney's Twisted Tales series asks, what if Belle's mom had been the one to curse the Beast?

Following the parameters of a fairly strict retelling, this story feels like bonus content for the original animated movie. Music to any super-fan's ears.

We get a back and forth timeline following Belle in the present part of the story, and the past perspective follows Belle's parents before she was born.

As we know, Belle lives with her father, an eccentric inventor, on the outskirts of town.

But what happened to Belle's mother? This reimagining tells who she was and that happens to be the Enchantress who cursed the Beast.

We learn about the kingdom before, at a time when magic was still present, as well as about the Beast's parents and their unkind rule over their people.

There is a plague and a fairly harsh witch hunt, for lack of a better term, that all ultimately lead to the Beast's curse.

As I mentioned earlier, this felt like bonus content to the 1991-Disney animated movie because a good portion of it stuck true to that original.

The rest was icing on the cake, filling in the back story of the time before the movie kicks off. I really appreciated that.

Some retellings you want to be wildly creative and unique (e.g. Hunted by Meagan Spooner, or Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust), but for this series, the point is to have the original story with one twist that alters the outcome.

I thought that was well done here by Braswell.

I'm a sucker for this series and will continue to pick them up. So far, this is definitely one of my favorites. The execution of the twist was really well done. It felt seamless.

If you love the original animated Beauty and the Beast as much as I do, you should definitely give this one a try!

Profile Image for Erikka.
1,824 reviews
September 26, 2016
I still remember the first time I saw Beauty and the Beast. I was 6, a weird little girl who had no friends and loved getting lost in the adventures found in my favorite books. Until that point, I had seen milquetoast, passive, stupid little princesses go completely mushy for nondescript, interchangeable princes. They had no autonomy, no agency in their own stories. Then this peculiar little peasant with unmanageable brown hair comes wandering into her provincial town with a book covering her face. I was enamored. For the first time, I didn't want to be the princess--I felt like I was. Belle spoke to me. Where other princesses would fawn over a prince in disguise, Belle told a magnificent beast of a man to control his temper, taught him to read, and was fascinated rather than frightened by his animate servants. She was strong, opinionated, and curious. Her reaction when she saw Beast's library matched mine--awe, mixed with a desire to read everything and not knowing where to start. Belle doesn't giggle coyly at the Beast, she smirks at him when he's covered in birds. She doesn't wait for him to ask her to dance--she grabs his hand and puts it on her own waist. She is foolish at times, but that's charming--she can't be perfect, which makes her more human than the cardboard cutouts of earlier Disney heroines. Now I'm 32 and a librarian--I have to think that Belle's early influence on my life as a reader is partially the reason I chose this vocation. Belle got her library--so did I.

So when I learned that Braswell's third book in a series I had already enjoyed the first two books in would be my favorite Disney story of all time, I was as excited as Belle in the bookshop. And it's my favorite! Far-off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise! Just like in the first two installments, the story follows the movie plot up until one crucial moment, and then completely derails. What I appreciate in this book, though, is that she takes each little plot hole and questionable aspect of the movie, things people online have created forums about (Cursing an 11 year old prince? Stockholm syndrome? Belle's supposed brilliance countering the fact that she never put it together that Beast is the prince? Chip is still five? etc), and integrates answers and explanations seamlessly into the plot. It is just so well done, you almost don't realize that those parts weren't in the original movie. If anything, I like this Belle more. She's the same person, just more independent, more canny, more observant, and more forgiving. And the Beast? The Beast is perfection in this story. He's the same creature, the same hidden man, but so much deeper.

There's also a hidden fandom worked into this book. Belle at one point ends up in an episode of Doctor Who. Any Whovian will pick up on the woman who is forgotten when you look away, the statue that moves except when you stare at it, and Belle's insistence that she never walk in shadows. It was brilliant and creative and, if it was unintentional, is the biggest coincidence I've ever seen. I have to think Braswell is a Whovian like me, and realizes that Belle would be an amazing companion...or Doctor....

I highly recommend this book for anyone who still finds the magic in reading, who chooses to see beyond outward appearances, and who seeks adventure in the great wide somewhere.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
September 24, 2020
3.5 stars

Not just any old B&B reboot, folks.
This one is Disney's retelling of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.


Which is kind of cool in and of itself.
Ok, so this is a more adult version of the Disney classic that stays true to the original storyline until Belle swerves toward the forbidden wing with the enchanted rose in it.


I don't want to spoil too much, but I think it's safe to say that from there on out it goes in a new direction. <--there are still iconic moments peppered into the scenes, though.


Also, another major difference is that the story is being told in two parts. One POV is Belle's mother & father's story, which then directly leads up to the enchantresses' curse on the young prince.


The other POV is Belle & the Beast trying to figure out how to fix everything.
I really enjoyed how much meatier the world became this time around and I liked that I wasn't quite sure how it would all end up.


So how did it end?
Much differently. <--that's all I'm gonna say.


It's not perfect and it's not going to go down as one of my tippy-top favorites, but it was a surprise hit with me. I went into it thinking it was probably going to be more than a little bit cheesy and terrible, but that wasn't the case at all. There was more depth than I thought there was going to be, and I was honestly far more interested in this version of the story than I thought possible.
If it looks like something you might be interested in, give it a try.

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Edition: Unabridged
James Patrick Cronin - Narrator
Profile Image for anouk.
99 reviews53 followers
August 17, 2019
- I



This was... bad. Not as bad as Beastly, but still quite bad. Some scenes were utterly ridiculous, for instance the Beast talks in capital letters more often than not (I know, I know, it's big coming from me but this is a Goodreads review, not a published novel). There is also the FRENCH. The author tries so hard to make it frenchy, but Lumière called Belle "mon chéri" (masc.) instead of "ma chérie" (fem.) on several occasions, which, as a native french speaker, made me snort each time. The funniest french "mistake" was:
"'YOU TOOK BELLE!' a short man with a long ponytail swore, pointing. 'J'accuse!'"

This sounded so ABSURD, I was like???? What??? Literally nobody says "j'accuse" just like that, except for Emile freaking Zola.

Moreover, the author tries to sound feminist-ish, but... fails dramatically. For example, when Belle and the Beast are cooking, it is said:

"She thought handling something dangerous and manly like a knife would be more interesting for him than trying to work with something fiddly like pastry dough."

I mean. Ugh.

There were so many inconsistencies throughout the book. At one point Belle frees all the prisoners in the asylum one by one with NO problem whatsoever, but when it was finally her father's turn she "fumbled over the keys until she found the right one."

I was also kind of disappointed that we didn't get the dancing scene with the yellow ball gown and everything, especially since it's a Disney novel. 12 year-old-me would have been outraged. 20 year-old-me, however, WAS outraged that we didn't get to see the transformation scene, and the moment when the prince turns back and we finally see his face and Belle recognises him thanks to his baby blue eyes and!!!!!! Also before that, when Belle is crying over his body and then finally whispers "I love you."; just as the last petal falls. This is my favourite scene and I couldn't wait to read it in novel form, sadly the author decided otherwise. The closest thing we go to an "I love you" was a soppy, out of character line: "You may be a beast, but you are my Prince." Ew.


Maybe I'm a bit too harsh. This is a Disney novel for young teens. I should have expected that it would be bad. However, I still gave it two stars because, let's not be hypocritical: I was into it. Otherwise I wouldn't have read it so quickly. I wanted to know what would happen. Or maybe it's just because the transformation scene was my favourite when I was a kid so I couldn't wait reading it. Oh wait.


edit: if you agree with me on this review, and would like to read some good Beauty and the Beast retellings, here are my top 3:
1) Hunted by Meagan Spooner (YA)
2) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (YA)
3) Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (Adult)

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,597 followers
May 24, 2020

Many thanks to Disney Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
"Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast"

Of all the twisted tales I've read (I think it's three or four), this one has been my favorite so far!

So, what's this book about?
Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns—a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.

But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind—images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.

I absolutely loved the way this book just dived straight in. From page one, I was instantly hooked which isn't common. It took me a little bit to get all the characters and plotlines straight but I did.

And once the book started, it didn't stop. This book was so fast-paced and enjoyable. I read it all in one sitting.

I also loved the relationship between Beast and Belle, as I always do when I watch the movie. It's just one of my favorite Disney couples.

I think my favorite part, though, was how the author wrapped up all the plotholes from the movie and answered all the questions. One of the biggest ones being that the curse on the prince wasn't very fair.

Overall, this book was magical, engrossing, and fun to read! Highly recommended.

Bottom Line:
4 stars
Age Rating - [ PG-13 ]
Content Screening (Mild Spoilers)
Positive Messages (3/5) - [Perserverance, Kindness]
Violence (3/5) - [Injury, Gore, Brute force]
Sex (0/0)
Language (1/5) - [D*mn]
Drinking/Drugs (2/5) - [Alcohol consumption]
Trigger and content warnings - Mental assylums, Violence, Loss of a loved one, Death
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Disney Worldwide Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling


4 stars!!

Definitely my favorite Twisted Tale so far!

Review to come

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Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,032 reviews1,422 followers
February 2, 2018
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

This is the third instalment in the series of Disney-inspired retellings by Liz Braswell. As Old as Time tells the story of Beauty and the Beast, beginning with their parents.

I really liked the back-and-forth narrative, that told both a past tale alongside Belle's present one. Learning more about the lovable Maurice and getting an introduction to Belle's mother was highly intriguing. Both narratives also aligned in an exciting twist of events that had me compelled to keep reading. It gave a further understanding to the original and could easily be added to the canonical story.

This, more than the previous books in this series, was true to the original tale. Much of Belle's story was a recounting of the already-known events from the original. I did not dislike this factor but it wasn't as unique as the others, for this reason. I think if it had been another tale I might not have appreciated this repetition quite so much, but as both Disney adaptations of this story are so beloved to me I really liked hearing the tale again, here.

My favourite aspect of both this book and the Disney tale was the romance. This story is one of the few that prioritise inner-beauty and there is an absence of instantaneous attraction. Seeing Belle and the Beast's slowly growing attraction here gives me such a warm feeling that heightened my love for this book and made this, by far, my favourite instalment to this series.
Profile Image for Yeganeh.
544 reviews218 followers
November 21, 2022
~4.5 stars~

Admittedly, beauty and beast will forever be my favorite fairy tale of all time and I would never get tired of reading retelling or watching the same story go on like this.

I may have watched both the disney animation and the live action movie of beauty and beast a thousand time, and I would never get tired of that specially with this book, with the same well known story, I feel like I was back in that story again.

Somehow, I found this version of story more heartbreaking than the other version. I mean, this version of beast was once an 11 year old boy when he was cursed. the ending was beautiful, it was still beautiful to watch them figure out how to find the real beauty inside of themselves not outside. Because, one thing of all the other reason I like this story, is about how people see the real beauty.

Although it is a lot darker than the original Disney film, As Old As Time answers a lot of questions I had about the story in new and unexpected ways. It’s written in the spirit of the Disney movie, even using some of the same dialogue. The plot gradually unfolds and keeps readers guessing until the very end of the novel, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

This was the 5th book of Disney twisted tale stories for me and my favorite so far! No surprise.
Profile Image for Eliza.
594 reviews1,374 followers
October 2, 2019
This felt incredibly young to me, and I might be slowly getting out of YA novels, which is super upsetting! Then again, the writing in this felt closer to a middle school level than YA.

Either way, I'll finish this review later today!
November 20, 2020
Sendo A Bela e o Monstro um dos meus contos favoritos, não consigo deixar de ler todas as versões.
Este conto é um bocadinho diferente...
Gostei, mas prefiro a versão original.
Super amoroso...
Confesso que esperava outro final, este ficou em aberto...
Mas é uma leitura fofinha.
Tem uma nova perspectiva de como tudo aconteceu.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,290 reviews215 followers
September 9, 2018
SO much better than the first two.

As Old As Time is hands down my favorite of this series so far. Not only does it have one of my favorite Disney characters, Belle, but it was actually entertaining and interesting to read. I was never bored and could't wait to see what little mysteries or twists I will get.

Obviously this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, if you couldn't tell by the title or cover, but it was a bit different. It seemed like it was a mix of the animated and the real-live version of the movie.. but with a dash of something else as well. Beast is still the prince who turned down an old ugly lady at the door. He and everyone else at the castle was still cursed.. but in the beginning, we get to see his parents. The King and Queen were pretty terrible people.. so I wasn't entirely surprised when you see the prince turning down the rose and such.

However, the little twist I enjoyed was that the enchantress was Belle's mother. I thought that little tidbit was quite wonderful because we never really know anything about her. If you saw the movie with Emma Watson, we do see a scene or two with her mother.. so that is why I feel like it was a mixture of the two movies.

Then there's the way everyone in the castle acted, heck even the village people. Gaston is still his silly and self-centered self BUT he wasn't really the villain in this book. I mean, he was a villain.. but not the villain.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that I finally dove into it because I was so freaking hesitant guys! I didn't want to end up hating this book and now I can't wait to dive into Mulan's!
Profile Image for ♡ F a n n y ♡.
184 reviews79 followers
April 3, 2023
"𝙇𝙤𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙗𝙧𝙤𝙨 𝙥𝙪𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙣 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙧𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙤𝙙𝙤 𝙡𝙤 𝙦𝙪𝙚 𝙡𝙖 𝙝𝙪𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙙𝙖𝙙 𝙨𝙖𝙗𝙚, 𝙤 𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙖".

En esta serie de “Cuentos Retorcidos” podemos encontrar nuestras historias favoritas con un giro en trama que nos cambia totalmente todo.

En este caso nos encontramos con la historia de Bella y nos muestran todo lo que a la película le hizo falta. Una protagonista fuerte, inteligente y valiente con un carácter de líder y humana.
Este libro me ha gustado muchísimo más que la película original porque la historia nos abarca mucho mas que una maldición, nos muestra la magia del mundo y como la avaricia y el miedo la ha consumiendo. Y ese finaaaaal, para mi es de las cosas mas importantes en un libro y aquí los últimos capítulos no deja el corazón en las manos.

Si eres fan de Disney o de esta princesa en específico les recomiendo muchísimo este libro, tengo reseñas de otro dos en mi perfil. Como de igual manera si quieren comenzar a leer en ingles siento que es muy fácil de hacerlo porque prácticamente conocemos la historia o el contexto de la trama entonces es una lectura rápida y sencilla.
PS: Me volví a enamorar de la bestia y su biblioteca
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,059 reviews16 followers
September 20, 2016
To see full review click here.

I was less than impressed with Braswell’s A Whole New World and was content on just forgoing her obvious pandering to Disney synergy series when I saw As Old as Time‘s premises and then I was like.

Need this.

Because Beauty and the Beast and the twist looked actually interesting. And besides, surely after two books with poor reviews, surely Braswell was able to pick up some pointers on what was going wrong with the synergy pandering series. Obviously, I was wrong. The same habits that made A Whole New World a hot mess, were included in As Old as Time including the whole let’s quote the movie.

Note, I had to wonder how it was possible to regurgitate an eighty minute movie’s script in 400 pages but oh-the twist, oh the twist is that we’ll include Maurice’s romance with Belle’s mother who’s the Enchantress.

Yes, Maurice.

The bumbling absentminded idiot of a father of Belle’s who gets together with Mrs. Potts at the movie.

Well, at least I think they get together. It’s in my head cannon anyway. But when I think of romance with Maurice unless it involves Mrs. Potts it’s a no go.

And yes, I know that cannon assumes that Belle’s mother must’ve been a pretty hot number given the fact that Maurice is…well, Maurice and everyone in town sings about Belle who looks nothing like Maurice. But the Enchantress?????

It’s not like it’s even explained that well in the alternating chapters where I’m supposed to ship Enchantress/Maurice.

It just doesn’t work. Much like the fact I’m supposed to like a woman who cursed an eleven year old spoiled little boy and then…well, then regurgitate the screenplay which while simple enough in it’s Disney form was enjoyable because you know great voice actors/animation and Alan Menken songs. Not so much here.

The characters are extremely flat. And it’s not the story. The story has been retold many times in YA before. Sure, those versions aren’t based on the Disney movie, but that shouldn’t really matter. At the core the book was a retelling of a fairytale and while Braswell was using the Disney movie as a template there were plenty of jumping off points that could’ve made the story interesting.

But to focus half of the book on Maurice??????

Really, Maurice.

I feel bad for all you Potts/Maurice shippers that’s for sure (surely, there have to be some) As for me, I am not planning on touching this series with a ten foot pole ever again. It doesn’t matter what movie they decide to retell. Although, I did accidentally grab buy Once which I didn’t realize was by Braswell until it was too late so….

You know, I could just give that book away. Yeah, that’s how annoyed I am with this author’s writing.
Profile Image for Fernwehwelten.
320 reviews204 followers
April 9, 2021
Tale as old as time… Wie steht ihr zu den Disney-Realverfilmungen? Ich war anfangs skeptisch, aber dann hat mich „Die Schöne und das Biest“ binnen Sekunden vom Gegenteil überzeugt. Ich meine, Emma Watson als Belle?!
Sowieso gehört „Die Schöne und das Biest“ zu meinen Lieblingsgeschichten von Disney. Umso mehr war ich auf „Die Schöne und ihr Geheimnis“ gespannt – ein Buch aus der Twisted Tale Reihe vom @carlsenverlag. Was bedeutet, dass der Geschichte rund um Belle und das Biest eine ungeahnte Wendung verpasst wurde, um den Verlauf grundlegend zu ändern und ein neues Abenteuer einzuläuten. Ein Plan, der meiner Meinung nach aufgegangen ist! Denn in dieser Version des eigentlich so bekannten Märchens wird ein zusätzlicher Fokus auf die Familiengeschichten von Belle und dem Biest gelegt, die unheilvoll miteinander verknüpft sind. Mich haben die Intrigen im Hintergrund und das Schicksal, das über Generationen seine Finger im Spiel hatte, wirklich für sich einnehmen können. Genauso wie die Erzählweise: Als Leserin habe ich Gegenwart und Vergangenheit kennengelernt, jeweils aus unterschiedlichen Sichtweisen, was die Geschichte meiner Meinung nach umso einnehmender werden ließ.
„Die Schöne und ihr Geheimnis“ bot dabei eine relativ starke Plotänderung. So konnte ich besonders mitfiebern, was mir persönlich unheimlich viel Spaß gemacht hat! Vor allem begegnet man aber auch trotzdem allerhand bekannten Charakteren und Szenen, was mein Herz regelmäßig aufgehen ließ. Faszinierend war in meinen Augen außerdem, wie diese vertrauten Momente doch einen neuen Anstrich bekamen, erfährt man im Buch doch viel mehr Details über das Innenleben der Protagonist*innen. Einfach herrlich!
Anmerken möchte ich abschließend allerdings, dass ein paar Versuche der Autorin, feministisch zu klingen, etwas schief gegangen sind – aber das sollte man bei dem Märchen vielleicht ein wenig ausklammern. Es ist auch ein Stück weit erwachsener, konkreter und somit etwas brutaler als das Original, was ich persönlich aber wirklich gut fand, um die Spannung hochzuhalten. 4,5 Sternchen!
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
Want to read
July 1, 2016

Let's hope it's better than A Whole New World and Once Upon a Dream, because I DNF'd them both.

Also, why the sudden change in cover styles? It doesn't even match!

I am a sucker of Beauty and the Beast ANYTHING.
Profile Image for Dee☾.
402 reviews104 followers
May 16, 2017
Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie and I had to read this. No excuses. I saw so many mixed reviews (okay, mostly negative), but I didn't let that cloud my judgment at all. This book fell so flat that I found it so hard to even finish it. This saddens me. I wanted to really love this!!

The kingdom is plagued by a fever and those with magical abilities are disappearing. The story is told in two different storylines at the beginng: Belle's present and Maurice's past.

The first 25-30% of the book follows the Disney movie version pretty much identically. I felt like I was just reading the movie's book. What really bothered me was that most of the dialogue was almost word for word. It wouldn't have bothered me much if it weren't for the fact that some of the characters came off as goofy and unlikable. The author tried to make Belle sarcastic and it didn't work. She was whiny and every time she used sarcasm when talking with the Beast I rolled my eyes. It just made her a little brat! The Beast was still adorable and I felt sorry for him. Gaston was ridiculous, even more so than the movie.

But I still really liked the twist that Belle's mother was the one to curse the Beast. I thought it was a nice twist and was really interested in this storyline because it gave a bit more background as to why the castle was cursed and what was going on with the prince and his family.

This has to do with the ending of the book,

Some parts worked, but most of it didn't. I am just glad I am finally done.
Profile Image for exploraDora.
541 reviews257 followers
April 18, 2022
I think I liked this story more than I did the original Beauty and the Beast animated movie and that's one of my all time favorite Disney movies ❤️

Full review to come, as soon as I find more time.
167 reviews28 followers
March 22, 2017
Have you ever wondered what would happen to Disney's Beauty and the Beast if someone took all the magic out of it?

... well this book is what happens.

“I’M NOT HUNGRY!” she screamed back, rage billowing out of her more forcefully than she had imagined possible. Thinking of the triplets and their behavior hadn’t improved her mood.



“YOU CAN’T STAY IN THERE FOREVER!” the Beast roared.

“JUST WATCH ME!” Belle spat back.


This childish dialogue between Belle and the Beast basically sums up As Old as Time: a caricature of the 90’s Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, that doesn’t delve deeper into the characters or the magical world. Instead As Old as Time is full of inconsistencies, over-done, flat, one-dimensional characters, and falls way short of the Disney film.

And by being ‘just’ a retelling of Disney’s story, the author didn’t have to come up with her own characters or world-building, instead she just piggy-backed on people’s childhood nostalgia – and utterly failed.

I DNF-ed the book, I hated Belle so much, felt sorry for the Beast, was generally confused by the inconsistencies of the story, and was annoyed by the boring characters.

I didn’t quite realize that this was a retelling of Disney’s version of Beauty and the Beast, and not of the original book. I just picked it up in preparation for the live-action Disney film and was utterly disappointed. The author didn’t fix Disney’s mistakes and inconsistencies, took all magic and wonder out of it, and didn't expound more on the characters or the story backdrop.

In this retelling of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Beast is enchanted by Belle’s mother. There was a backstory about why the Enchantress cursed the Beast (because the people of the kingdom turned against magic-users and fairy tale creatures and basically the prince - a child at the time … did nothing?). There was a mention in the book where the Beast said that he was a child when he was cursed and “what could I have done?”. But this doesn’t fix the problems the story-line has. The Enchantress’ reason for cursing the Beast was that: “there is no love in your heart at all, Prince–just like your parents…”.

BUT, the prince was an eleven-year-old boy when he was cursed because he was “selfish, spoiled and unkind”. Realistically how can a ten-year-old child learn to be unselfish and kind with no positive role models and no one to love him? That is not what happens to a child who is isolated, unloved, and turned into a hideous monster! And anyway what about other spoiled, rude, and selfish children - does the Enchantress go around arbitrarily handing our punishment?

If you think about it, a ten-year-old boy who has no parents and obviously learned from fairy tales to distrust haggard looking, old women should definitely not let the obviously-evil witch into his home!

If anything, fairy-tales taught us not to trust old women (and apples and stepmothers)!

Did the enchantress really expect the prince to learn to be kind, and caring, and loving by isolating him from the rest of the world, locking him into an enchanted castle that no one remembers, and by turning an unloved little boy into a hideous monster?

How the fuck is a child supposed to learn about kindness and generosity from a witch who cursed him and robbed him of his childhood for no good reason!

He was fucking right to turn that bitch away!

And the enchanted castle just raises soo many questions:

- Where do the original furniture go?

- Who decides which furniture stays and which is replaced by cursed servants?

- Are all furniture enchanted people? Or do the servants get sucked into the existing furniture?

- Is there sentient furniture that's not a person? And if so what happens to that furniture once the curse is lifted?

- How are the servants not majorly pissed at the beast after all those years?

- The beast grows up during his enchantment, so why doesn’t Chip grow up too? Or was he conceived during the enchantment? In that case how the fuck does a teapot conceive – and with what???

- What happens to the sentient pots of mustard and stuff when they get used up - do they die or are they replenished - and is that actually a person? If so what is the mustard made of?

- And finally, which poor soul got turned into the chamber pot?

I absolutely detested Belle in this book, and as someone who loved Belle in the Disney film, this made my disappointment so much greater. The prince is cursed for being selfish, spoiled, and unkind, but really Belle isn't any better. During the first 40% of the book Belle looks down her nose on everyone from her high horse and gives no thought to the consequences of her actions, she’s pretentious, arrogant, and condescending.

For example, when she destroys the Beast’s last chance at breaking the curse, she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions, basically she just shrugs and says: well you weren’t going to break the curse anyway so what difference does it make.

She gives “gentle insults” to the villagers and basically thinks she’s the only person with a brain in the village – not everyone has all day to read Belle! some people need to work hard to survive (this is in a time when rural France was poor and overpopulated).

And to top her arrogance off, she thinks that she’s way too good for the Beast, instead he should set his hopes for some” nice peasant girl”.

Belle is like the original hipster.
Profile Image for andrea hartmann.
144 reviews186 followers
January 8, 2021
I really really really really really wanted to like this book. I wanted to keep going and wanted it to get better. I was really excited to read it when I first got it. I had decided to read it with my friend Mel and we were going to have so much fun with it. Mel, I'd just like to apologize profusely AGAIN for dnfing this book on you, but I seriously couldn't take it anymore.

This book was EXCRUCIATING for me to read. I realized that I need to dnf this today when I was supposed to read six chapters and two hours passed and I had only read two and a half chapters. I've been wasting my day reading this book that is proving to be IMPOSSIBLE for me to enjoy. The writing style is so bland, so terrible, and so monotonous. It feels so lazy and like a first draft or an outline of what the book is supposed to look like when it's finished. The prologue of the book is literally the fairy tale INTRO TO THE MOVIE! Before the movie is well developed! And then it just continues with that fairy tale type of structure.

Another annoying thing was the structure of the book. I feel like the first chunk of the book was written just in case someone didn't know the story or the book. The thing is, I feel like the only reason people read these Twisted Tale books is to see an alternate version of what the movie could have been...meaning that they had to have seen the movie. So we didn't need all this excruciatingly long first part of the book because it was just the movie transcribed into book! It reminded me of one of those Disney books you buy as a kid that's basically just the movie but written down, to get kids into reading. It was so unnecessarily descriptive that I wanted to gouge my eyes out reading it! Maurice's backstory wasn't in any way redeemable either. Every chapter would alternate from Belle's present-day to Maurice's past, and I literally couldn't decide which storyline I hated more!

Let's move onto the plot. This story was basically the Beauty and the Beast story but "what if Belle's mother cursed the Beast"? Okay...what if? The whole time I was wondering what that would change in the book...but all it did for the beginning of the book was provide a boring ass backstory for Maurice. Maurice has no flavor too...he is literally so boring. Annoyingly enough, his plot moved so slowly...so slowly that it felt like hours had passed by each time I finished a chapter...and do you know what? This book was so bad that chapters did take hours for me to finish. On another hand, Belle's present-day plot moved in milliseconds. All of a sudden, by her third chapter, Belle was being imprisoned by the Beast. It was just a disaster.

Finally, let's review some of the characters:

-Belle: Belle is and has been my favorite Disney princess since I was six years old. I loved her because I saw myself in her through her kindness and her obsessions. This Belle was SO surface-level. She thought like how outsiders see book lovers. All she thought about were books! Every single thing would result in "omg this happened in a book" or "omg all I love are my books". An annoying thing about Belle was that her thoughts were so one dimensional. "Maybe I like the Beast. Maybe I don't." No in-depth thoughts. Another annoying thing was that Belle would reference things that happened in her books ALL THE TIME, but the thing is, she would reference things that is literally KNOWN TO HAPPEN IN HER STORY. "this reminded Belle of a book she read where the captive fell in love with her captor". That's literally her story! She literally used her thoughts to make sure the reader knew what was going to happen!

-The Beast: This book made me realize how much I hate the Beast. Him being a Beast is literally just an excuse for a grumpy, angry, abusive old character. He yelled at Belle for literally everything, and when he was finally nice to her and unsettling. The little friendship buildup they had made me so uncomfortable.

-Maurice (Belle's father): Maurice wasn't as butchered as the others, but he was so boring. He was practically described as a plain simple man. Nothing else to him besides the fact that he was in love with the Enchantress. He was just so annoyingly surface-level and he didn't have any likable qualities.

-Rosalind (the Enchantress/Belle's mom): Rosalind is a strong female character, yes, but too strong, as if she was trying to fill a quota. She would rush to fight or yell at people and she was always described as fierce. I feel like the author just wanted her to be a "strong female character" but it was too much. It made the character annoying to read about.

Something the book could have used was more of an element of surprise. Since we had Maurice's backstory going on alongside Belle's present-day storyline, we knew everything Belle was going to figure out before SHE did. It would have been beneficial for Maurice's backstory to collectively go after Belle's present-day storyline, so we'd be surprised with her. Also, it would have been beneficial to shorten Maurice's backstory...IT DRAGGGGGED.

Readers of my reviews have seen in my reviews that I try to include the bright side in every book I review. This had NO BRIGHT SIDE. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NICE TO SAY ABOUT THIS! The only redeeming quality was the cute chapter titles. I'm so sorry for my hostility and I promise my next review will not be as accusatory. Thanks for reading!

P.S. The fact that Maurice released a breath he didn't realize he was holding lost respect points in my book.
Profile Image for ضحى الحداد.
Author 3 books618 followers
November 1, 2016
I just finished this book .. it was an ok story .. I wish if it was not a retelling of my favourite Disney movie because I really didn't like the new direction it was headed .. but still I did kind of enjoyed the story .. that was until I reached the end .. I mean .. WHAT KIND OF ENDING WAS THAT ??!!!
I absolutely hated the ending .. I almost reduced the stars for the ending alone but I remembered that the story was decent .. if you don't mind ending that suck so bad you would enjoy this book .. but for me it was a disappointment
Profile Image for Dawne.
Author 2 books5 followers
June 21, 2017
Once upon a time in a faraway land, a young prince lives in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the Prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter's night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single blood-red rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the Prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away- although she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for true beauty is found within. And when he dismissed her again, the old woman's ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress. The Prince tried to apologize but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. As punishment she transformed him into a hideous beast and places a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. "You have until the eve of your twenty-first birthday to become as beautiful on the inside as you were on the outside. If you do not learn to love another- and be loved in return- by the time the last petal of this rose falls, you, your castle, and all within, will be cursed and forgotten forever." Ashamed of his monstrous form, the Beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope- for who could ever leave to love a beast?

I knew I would love this book as soon as I read this part. They kept a good chunk of the book the same as what we saw in the movie which I absolutely loved!

"The scariest, most frightening person can turn out to be quite a lovely character... if you give him time."

"You can't have great things if you constantly fear loss."

Very true words.

"betrayed was betrayed stay away stay safe away from dark."

"Twisted Tales" indeed. The huge plot twist near the end that I wouldn't have ever expected! I was so shocked!!

The Beast couldn't bear seeing her so sad. "If everything goes all right... if we break the curse and I become a... real king... I'll rebuild the bookstore. I'll make it bigger. Maybe... maybe I'll give you your own bookstore."

Marry that boy.

I love how at the end the Beast didn't turn back into a human. I've always wished for a Beauty and the Beast book to have an ending like this. I'm sure he will be human again, just not in this book. This book stayed true to the movie but I also love how we got to find out about Belle's mother and about magically beings and how Maurice's friends tie into this. It's amazing! I loved it!

5/5 Beautiful Stars!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Charity (Booktrovert Reader).
458 reviews53 followers
March 7, 2023


Well, this got dark at the end. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be that dark. There are bits of torture mentioned, but it is not enough for me to put down and I couldn't finish it. This is the second book that I read in the Twisted Tales series (Read Review Here: A Whole New World) and this did not disappoint in the twisted aspect of it.

As with the Twisted Tale series, it follows closely to the original Disney movie storyline. As Old As Time personally I feel that it was executed better in the regards of breaking up the monotony unlike A Whole New World did. Even though it follows the storyline to the tee, this has a backstory of Belle’s mother which adds a layer of dimension to the Beauty and the Beast retelling.

You get to see why the castle became cursed in the first place. Which I thought was a backstory that made this story fascinating. The discrimination of magical creatures of that land and the result of it. More backstory of the servants who get turned into household items such as Ms. Potts.

Belle to me in this story came across a little haughty and you do see her learn not to judge a book by its cover. I love the beast in this because you see him more in detail as being a beast. Meaning, not used to using claws like a human, beastly rage and actually needing to hunt for food. You see him discover himself and that his cushy life as a prince isn’t what it always seems.

The ending did not go the way I expected it to go, which is a good thing. It made As Old as Time so much better in my opinion. Even though the ending was a bit much for me, this was entertaining and good.
Profile Image for Fifi’s Bookshelf.
250 reviews69 followers
February 10, 2017
I was very surprised at how incredible this book was. The first book in this series about Aladdin was a huge disappointment, but the second one about Aurora was actually very good (though it seems most everyone else doesn't agree with me on that). Despite the huge improvement from book one to book two, I didn't go into this book with super high expectations. That is why I was completely floored over how fantastic this book was. When I closed this book I was in a daze and I had to sit there for a while and process what I had just read. I still just can't take my mind off what I just read. That is the sign of a good book; a good book invokes an emotional response and leaves you feeling dazed. And isn't that the goal of every author; to make their reader feel something?

This book digs so much deeper than the Beauty and the Beast film we all know and love. This book takes the story one step further. Instead of Belle breaking the curse by seeing past his imperfections and professing her love for the Beast, Belle and the Beast must work together to break the curse and uncover something that goes further than a cursed enchanted castle.

First off, I love how well you get to know the characters. In the film, you never really get to know Beast all that well, other than the fact that he's a vain, misguided soul who needs to learn some serious etiquette. Because books can dig deeper on characterization than film, you really get to know this book's version of Beast far better than the film version. He is much easier to understand and is easier to be sympathetic towards. You even get to find out a little more of his backstory. Belle is characterized slightly differently than the Belle I know from the movie, but not enough for me to get annoyed over it. She overall stays true to the Belle that I know and love.

I was surprised at how dark this book is. If Disney hypothetically wanted to release this as a movie, it would never be able to pass as a kids movie. Braswell is not afraid to make certain parts of this book bleak and relentlessly dark. As a result of the questionable moral compass of certain characters, this book was surprisingly sad at parts. This book invoked many emotional responses; at the forefront was pity. Some of the things the characters go through are truly terrifying. And as awful as the antagonist is (and no, he isn't who you think he is), and despite his twisted logic and behavior, you are able to understand this person's reasoning and motives for doing what he did because the characters are fleshed out so well.

Beauty and the Beast is known for the moral lesson it teaches: don't judge people based on outer appearance, but on what is inside. This book builds on the theme of inner beauty but due to a different plot, there is a slight change. I would say the overall takeaway from this book would be: don't judge people just because they are different from you; you never know what someone is going through. Just like the movie, this book teaches an important moral lesson we should all remember.

If you are debating whether or not to read this book because you did not enjoy the first two, I hope this review convinces you to give it a chance! (Low key still confused as to why people didn't like the second one about Aurora because I actually really liked that one). Between the two YA series Disney publishes, I still prefer Serena Valentino's Disney Villan series but this book has secured the fact that I am officially a fan of the Twisted Tales series too. I wish this weren't the last book in this series because it has overall been a really good series. If she wrote a Snow White one next that would literally make my life. I'm officially a fan of this series and I am hoping Disney will change their minds about letting Liz write more of these books!
Profile Image for Emily Kothmann.
67 reviews1 follower
April 9, 2017
Curse you, Liz Braswell. You took one of the most beloved movies of all time, ripped the heart out of it, and stomped it down into a pile of steaming goat feces. This review will be full of spoilers, but I don't give an enchanted clock about that because you don't need to waste your time reading it anyway. I would give this atrocity one star out of spite, but I reserve those for books that I find offensive or so dull I absolutely can't read one more page.

Here's what's good. It's a fast-paced read. That's all.

Deep breaths....diving in. First of all, the characters are heinous. Our handsome prince-turned-beast is frequently described as "meek" and mumbles constantly. His fur reeks, and while he may be able to take on a pack of wolves, a couple lunatic asylum employees are too difficult for him. Yeah, definitely someone I'd fall head-over-heels for. And then there's Belle. Sweet, unassuming, literate Belle who longs for adventure in the great wide somewhere. In this book she comes across as pretentious, mocking, and downright arrogant. She has a smirk she reserves for the uneducated comments of the villagers. Nowhere do we get a sense of that self-sacrificing nature; instead we have a Belle who perhaps deserves her own curse.

And speaking of curses....so the point of this retelling is that Belle's mother cursed the prince, and it's up to Belle and the Beast working together to break the spell. Here's the problem: Mrs. Enchantress lady decides to curse an 11 year old boy (whose parents had just died) to find out if he'd be as terrible a ruler as his parents. Cuz that makes sense? Also let's curse all the servants in the castle for reasons! And then she conveniently gets kidnapped, so the curse can't be removed, but then her daughter comes along and breaks the curse JUST KIDDING!! Belle actually destroys the rose, completing the curse and ruining his life. Thus perhaps the absolute worst part of the whole book *spoiler spoiler spoiler* is there's no transformation scene!!!! What in the enchanted castle????? Remember watching this movie as a child, and crying as Beast's eyes rolled back in death, and Belle sobbed over his body? And then, miracle of miracles, sparkling rain drops tinkled around him, his body magically floats, spears of light shine from his fingers and toes, and before you know it badda bing we have glorious prince Adam and all is well!! You can forget that in this book. No manly prince. Just the Beast, with only the hope of finding enough magical beings in the world to reverse the curse.

I can't. I just can't. Deep breaths. Who even thought that was a good ending?

And then our side characters. Apparently Ms. Braswell thought Maurice was interesting enough to base half the book on him. Barf. And everyone's favorite villain Gaston is basically a non-entity. He's a melting milksop that you actually end up feeling sorry for. The teapots, candelabras, and clocks are boring, pointless, and completely lacking in any charm.

What else is lacking? Oh, you know, any romance whatsoever!!!! Who reads a Beauty and the Beast retelling thinking "Man, I really hate romance. I hope there's no romance in this book."? Apparently Ms. Braswell thought she should rewrite this tale without any spark, chemistry, words of love, or emotion at all.

I could go on and on and on about how disappointing this book is (inane Doctor Who references, sexism, fourth-grade reading level language), but I better stop. Save your money on this one and just go watch the movie.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Candace Worrell.
258 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2017
This book is boring. Seriously, who reads or watches Beauty and the Beast and wonders, "Man, I wish I knew more about Maurice." If you want a Beauty and the Beast retelling, go with Beauty by Robin McKinley.
Profile Image for missmarsdensclass.
19 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2022
I absolutely loved this book ... until the ending. I could NOT put it down. I loved the flipping between the two storylines, and I completely understand why the ending is what it is. But it left me feeling disappointed - I need a part 2 !!!
Profile Image for Ana Encinas.
351 reviews64 followers
December 17, 2020
La bella y la bestia: Un giro inesperado, una historia escrita por Liz Braswell. Me ha gustado el nuevo giro que le han dado al cuento clásico que todos conocemos de la bella y la bestia, creando en el lector un montón de incógnitas por desentrañar. Los personajes tienen la esencia de los originales del cuento pero con mucho más trasfondo detrás. Que la autora le haya dado protagonismo a la madre de Bella en esta historia me ha parecido todo un acierto, y más aún con el toque de magia que nos tienen tan acostumbrados con este tipo de novelas. La trama se tuerce de forma inesperada y no te esperas todo lo que ocurre después y la manera en que finaliza la vida de sus personajes principales y secundarios. Por lo que estoy muy contenta con la historia que me he encontrado en este libro.
Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,350 reviews123 followers
October 21, 2019
Catch me literally repeating my rant from the last Twisted Tale book I read because they are all the same and I don't like them in the same way.

As Old As Time is the Beauty and the Beast Twisted Tale but in this, Belle's mother is the enchantress who cursed the Beast and his servants. Also a weird amount of the story is about Belle's parents but specifically her father, Maurice.

Seriously who ever watched BatB and thought, "Man I would LOVE to read a book where half of the story is dedicated to good old wacky Maurice not really doing anything." I hope they are happy because I personally did not come into this book wanting to read endless chapters about that dude. The story is called Beauty and the Beast not let's follow Dad for no reason for half of the book. That's pretty much all the "twist" of this story is anyway? Yeah we have Belle touching the rose and all about her mother cursing the beast but yikes. (She really cursed an 11 year old for being rude?? HE WAS 11 WHAT???)

A better twisted tale would have been the Beast keeping Maurice and them having a father / son relationship and breaking the curse from that love but they didn't bother hiring me to write this book. A shame really.

Yet again this twisted tale is 30% "we're just going to quote the movie lol" and then it goes into the twist, which felt minor this time? The writing was also really juvenile and pretty bad. I don't know why all of these books are sold as YA when they are clearly for a younger audience.

All this book did was make me want to put it down and immediately watch the movies so maybe this crappy Disney sanctioned fanfiction did its job.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,637 reviews56 followers
August 11, 2018
The original animated Beauty and the Beast is my mom's favorite Disney film, and we watched our VHS copy countless times during my childhood; it was also tied with Big Fat Liar as the first movie we owned on DVD. We also had the Christmas one, which wasn't bad; I saw the third one on Disney Channel once, and didn't care for it.

So, you could say that me and the "tale as old as time" have an interesting history...which made me all the more interested in reading this book.

Sort of an alternate universe take on the original flick's story, this one illustrates an interesting scenario; since the film has become old hat to me, it was great to see a different take on it.

Unfortunately, the author decided to add some un-Disney-like content into the mix. Between profanity ranging from two d-words to one p-word to misuses of God's name in both English and French, to unnecessary disparaging remarks about the Lord, not to mention the occult references, this is not what I've come to expect from the House of Mouse, especially from their versions of fairy tales.

So, discerning readers, be warned: This is not the beloved "G" film with which you're familiar.
Profile Image for Catwithbooks.
2,156 reviews8 followers
May 21, 2021
Das nächstes Twisted Tale Buch, welches mir richtig gut gefallen hat.

Zum einen ist es nah and er Disney Geschichte, aber ist wird schon vor Belles Geburt schon an einem anderen Konstrukt gearbeitet. Und irgendwann treffen die beiden aufeinander und ergeben dann einen etwas anderen Verlauf.
Sowohl die Handlung aber auch das Ende sind dann doch so ganz anders als man es kennt. Mir hat dies richtig gut gefallen und hat mich auch überrascht.
Um den ein oder anderen Charakter tat es mir leid, aber die Geschichte ist nun mal was düsterer als der Film.

Der Schreibstil ist sehr angenehm und flüssig. Man kann sehr schön drin abtauchen und fühlt sich teils in den Film reinversetzt.

Die Aussage die hinter der Geschichte steckt ist geradezu Zeitgemäß. Mensch ist Mensch egal ob wer anders ist. Und selbst dann heißt es, erstmal kennenlernen statt verurteilen.

Ich freue mich schon auf die anderen Bücher der Reihe und wie weit sich diese immer abgeändert sind.
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