Falling in love means becoming a monster.
Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She's grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn't know that it's magic her parents are running from.
When Sarah's mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn't even know were still alive.
Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.
Loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen is a haunting, beautiful fantasy tale.
“A wild, unique fairy tale.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Sarah is precocious, independent, and strong-willed, and the story brims with thought-provoking insights and lyrical descriptions for readers to sink into—especially those who, like Sarah, dream of finding magic in the mundane.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Evokes half-remembered fairy tales and is slightly reminiscent of works by Neil Gaiman. Every page shimmers with magic.” —VOYA
“Beastkeeper is a bright, beautiful sliver of a novel . . . Every page shimmers with magic.” —VOYA, starred review
“This haunting tale successfully addresses the toll that long-term jealousy and revenge can have on families - and how love can heal even the deepest rifts.” —Booklist
“This tangled tale of jealousy and revenge retells the classic "Beauty and the Beast" story, but with a twist . . . With lush, descriptive language and complicated familial relationships, this complex story line challenges readers to pay close attention to the details. Hand this middle grade/YA crossover to tweens and teens who enjoy dark fairy-tale retellings.” —School Library Journal
“Hellisen's narration is thoughtful and lyrical . . . A wild, unique fairy tale.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Blending modern-day problems and ancient magical curses, Hellisen's novel sparkles like a classic fairy tale, even as it plumbs unpleasant truths.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An intense look at the seeds of rebellion and the individual consequences they sometimes reap.” —BCCB, starred review on When the Sea is Rising Red
“Hellisen's first novel combines the survival tactics of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games books with a fascinating array of magical creatures and powers.” —Booklist on When the Sea is Rising Red
“Hellisen's captivating debut will haunt readers.” —School Library Journal on When the Sea is Rising Red
“Hellisen creates an interesting world where magic and superstition rule.” —VOYA on When the Sea is Rising Red
“Debut author Hellisen's style features evocative descriptions and unflinching detail.” —Publishers Weekly on When the Sea is Rising Red
“The worldbuilding intrigues, and the open-ended conclusion begs a sequel.” —Kirkus Reviews on When the Sea is Rising Red