Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: Beauty and the Guardian Beast
SERIES: Queerky Tales #5
AUTHOR: Rhys Ethan
LENGTH: 31 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 3, 2017
Ayo is a lonely boy, bullied and withdrawn, until one day his father sends him away to the kingdom of Azizi, to study under the king’s advisor, Issa, a fearsome tiger, that thinks and talks like a man. Ayo misses his father and one day he takes it out on his new companion. The next morning he wakes up to find he is starting to turn into a beast himself and if he’s to ever turn back into his human form, he has a lot to learn.
When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be one of those cheesy little romance books, kinda like a Disney movie type. Where everything turns out hunky dory and everyone lives happily ever after. (Well, that part is true). But as for the rest…..boy was I wrong. There is a lot of lessons packed into this little story and let me tell you I wish I could pass it out to everyone to read. (Especially some of our government assholes and those who claim to be Christian but are bigoted, selfish, etc.)
This little story is kinda like Beauty and the Beast. In that the prince was a dick and was cursed to turn into the beast he acts like. Beauty, however, is little Ayo, who gets bullied and beaten up quite a lot. The kids tease him because he’s different. He is artistic and thoughtful instead of being a farmer or worker like most in town. So in a twist of fate his father makes a deal with the King to get Ayo out of there and go to the King’s place to learn under the Prince, who is the beast, but also the King’s advisor. Ayo has a lot to learn but his anger and sadness and misery cause him to lash out at the prince and he becomes a beast himself. He runs miles home to his father, but because he’s a beast no one wants anything to do with him and his bullies catch him and torture him. He is saved by the Prince, but in order to become a man again, he has to learn his lesson and be truly sorry for what he’s done.
When we first get into this story, my heart aches for Ayo. He is constantly bullied and tortured and made fun of because he is different. And it’s so sad. Everyone is different in their own way. What breaks my heart though, is when he is given an opportunity to go to another place where there is love and acceptance no matter who and what you are, Ayo pretty much shuns it. He is so caught up in his own misery that he doesn’t see he is becoming the one thing he didn’t like. Mean. So as a lesson, he is turned to a beast himself. Gah I wish this could happen to people for real. Maybe they’d finally see what pigs they really are. Ayo has a lot to learn in order to become the human he craves to be again. The lesson we all need to learn or be reminded of so often. Being different isn’t bad. We were all created different. Whether it be color, or sexuality, religion, artistic ability, whatever, we all have the right to be who we are and should be able to be that way without fear of being ridiculed or bullied or tortured or anything bad. There is no normal. We all have our own gifts or talents, our own brains for a reason. We should be accepting of those differences and embrace the diversity that makes us human. Don’t judge people. Love them. Show them it’s ok to be different.