by | Read by Robert Ramirez

Published by Recorded Books

Young Persian Prince Orasmyn lives a peaceful life of quiet duty and thoughtful obedience. Tending his fragrance garden gives him much more pleasure than the bloody royal hunts staged by his father. But a single wrong decision sets in motion an ancient curse that changes Orasmyn's fate forever. Told he will be killed by his own father, he is transformed into a lion on the day of a great hunt. The prince has no choice but to flee beloved Persia and his precious family. Balancing his fading human memories with his new beastly impulses, he makes his way to Europe-where his destiny awaits in the person of a French beauty named Belle. Donna Jo Napoli once again weaves the magic she has shown in books like Crazy Jack and Zel, transforming a well-known fairy tale into an unforgettable epic of duty, love, and redemption. Robert Ramirez's narration captures all the anguish and struggle of Orasmyn's quest to regain his humanity.

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AudioFile Review


Napoli’s genius in recrafting folk and fairy tales into young adult novels shines in this retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” This lush novel begins at a leisurely pace in Persia before Prince Orasmyn, trapped by an ancient curse in the body of a lion, desperately makes his way to the traditional French manor house setting. Robert Ramirez delivers a clear, carefully paced reading of Orasmyn’s inner struggle, first as cursed prince, then as trapped beast. When reading Belle, he attempts to deliver another voice and intonation, quite subtly. But the strength of this narration lies in the forceful intensity of despair and desire Orasmyn repeatedly expresses, keeping the listener grounded in the moment, a necessity given the ending of the story. T.B. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine

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