Beauty and the Werewolf

Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey It's almost like the further the author gets into the series, the worse the stories are. This was a lot smoother than her other stories, only for the fact that the characters were purposely isolated from everyone and everything. You had to focus on the main characters and stay in the same location. Whereas her other books have jumped around and failed to flow from one POV or scene to another.

But the fact that the story flows better than usual, only highlights the fact that the characters are kinda shitty. Bella was a total shrew and a major bitch until the end of the story. Oh sure, you can say she's sarcastic and use "dryly" and "wryly" to describe every single quip, but the fact of the matter is, she's still a bitch. Poor Sebastian is barely fleshed out and honestly, he could have been the most interesting of the bunch if we were allowed to get to know him. We get two pages describing how dinner is served, but we never actually find out why Sebastian has turned into a hermit. The villain was painfully obvious to me from the beginning and if The Tradition is so well documented, how the hell could all these people not catch on? Everything pointed to them.

I've also noticed that Lackey really enjoys making her heroines mull things over without figuring anything out. They will ask themselves why something is happening, then consider 3 or 4 reasons before dismissing them all. Sometimes she'll touch on and then disregard the true answer, but usually not. She just disregards all of it and then brushes it off to ponder over some other time. This is a huge waste of pages that could have been used for interactions between our characters. Give the reader the chance to watch them fall in love. Because it looks like they only spoke to each other for a few minutes over dinner and then suddenly wanted to get married.

And while I love the mythos of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, I am worn the fuck out on hearing about mundane things like dinner being served or how mules are loaded up with packs. You've got a shitload of magical beings, myths, kingdoms, Otherkind, etc... stop wasting my time with boring shit like how to run a household and give me some magic!

So overall, I can say I enjoyed the series, but I wouldn't recommend it to my more discerning friends and followers. They're all written very oddly and none of them were easy reads. Unfortunately, I feel the mythos of The Tradition would have been better served in another author's hands.