Friday, December 14, 2018

Book Review: 'Academia of the Beast' by K.N. Lee

North Carolina author K.N. Lee writes twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry and wins awards in about every category she embraces. Of note she is also a wannabe rockstar, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek and she offers advice to other writers who seek her mentorship. A woman who knows her craft she is enjoying success as a writer, business owner, and recognition for her community service.

Authors who elect to re-write mythology with supernatural themes take a leap of faith – especially when their audience is the Young Adult group. Though this is the second of her books this reviewer has read it is easy to see why she has gained such a wide audience. Her vampire stories alone retain enough of the expected magic and fright demanded by lovers of the genre, but at the same time she manages to infuse her mythology tales with aspects of humanity not usually found in the routine fantasy novels.

Her synopsis of this retelling of Beauty and the Beast lays out the direction well – ‘There were dark times in the era of the Baran clan. From the highlands of the old days when magic was deemed a myth, they rose to power after the global war that left most of the world desolate and eternally ruined by weapons of science and dark magic. The first Baran to assert himself as king made it so that no one would ever challenge them. Those with magic were exiled to the other kingdoms, or executed. Elastria would be a human land, free of the taint of supernatural beings. Rulers by birthright, they stood unchallenged for centuries, their people too afraid to stand against the tyranny that nearly pitted Elastria in another world war with the remaining nine tribes. For a group of humans to rule so ruthlessly, and actually, stand against the supernatural beings of the other tribes, it was rumored that there was more to the Barans, that they were descendent from an ancient evil. That all changed. With a witch. And a curse.’

Her prose is eloquent and reminiscent of the old masters of mythological fairy tales. K.N. Lee is a practiced artist, and an established novelist. Grady Harp, October 16
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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