barefoot-on-the-windEveryone in Hana’s remote village knows that straying too far into the wood means certain death. Hana still grieving the loss of her brother to the beast, knows it better than most. When her father is taken too, she gathers her hunting gear and goes in search of the monster, determined to destry it – or be destroyed herself. But the forest contains more secrets, more magic, and more darkness than Hana could ever have imagined. And the beast is not at all what she expects…

Title: Barefoot on the Wind

Author: Zoë Marriott

Publication Date: 1st September 2016

Series: No, but there’s Shadows on the Moon which is a companion/best buddies novel to this.

Ok – First thing you should know is that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. (Eeeeeeeee~) And second thing, it’s set in fairy tale Japan. (*More happy squeals*)

The Characters:


Well nearly. Sort of. Close enough. (Hana is close enough, right?)

She’s the main protagonist of the series, and basically as you can tell from the blurb, she goes to hunt beastie. She’s strong, and kind. Literally the only thing I get from her. But she’s kinda cool though.

Beastie as we later see, is a much more of an interesting guy. Like the tradiotnal story of Beauty and the Beast, he’s cursed and blah blah blaaaaaaah. But unlike the tradiotional story, he isn’t heartless, is ultra kind and ultra nice and we’re left thinking, “Whaaaaaat? Why you cursed then?”

What I didn’t like was the way the characters’ background was done. Whole stories were thrown at us here and there, and it just wasn’t very exciting for me. And for Hana, her brother’s voice just looms there and it annoyed me.

Oh and also Beastie isn’t very beastie at all. In fact, we don’t get to see his face, and when we do, it’s apparently too good looking and too pretty and that’s what makes it beastie and horrible. *Stares at the book hard*


The Plot:

The plot is simpple enough and like I said, is a retalling of Beauty and the Beastie. Execept here the beastie (I should stop calling him that) isn’t really beastie at all.

There’s no epic twists, no stabby moments, and definitely no magic super happy fun fun moments.

The Writing:

The writing.


Zoë Marriott writes so BEAUTIFULLY. The descriptions of everything and I MEAN EVERYTHING were soooooo daamn good.

Gradually the light began to take on colours, like watercolour paints washing across a blank sheet of paper and darkening, deepening, as they dried.

The writing was definitely one of my favourite aspects of the book.

What I didn’t like though, was the dialogue. There was no humour, and it all sounded really flat and plain. Everyone talked weirdly and no one sounded like a normal. Even during the dramatic bits, the villains spoke like cartoon characters that waved magical sceptres.

No one shall take my power from me. I shall not be powerless again!

The Conclusion:

I was crazy crazy excited when I heard that it was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and even more so when I heard it was going to be set in a Fairytale Japan. (WHAT BETTER COMBINATION?)

The book sucked me in really quickly at first, and I loved the main character. But after a while, I started to get bored, and didn’t enjoy it as much. To be honest, it was a really short book at barely more than 300 pages, and I think it could have been longer and it could have dedicated more time to character development, developing relationships and helped us to connect with them more.

The plot is really simple, and I think it would make a great relaxing read before bedtime for people of all ages.


  • Easy read
  • PREEEEETTY writing
  • Hooks you


  • Weird dialogue that bordered annoying
  • Not much depth to characters
  • Plot was dead straight and predictable

Book in a GIF:


Rating: 3.75 Stars – See my rating system.

Owned: YES! Thank you so much Walker Books for sending me a copy!

Buy your own copy on Amazon here!

Recommended for: Those that enjoy retellings, those that like Beauty and the Beast like meeeeeee. And also recommended as a bedtime reading book for younger readers. And those that have an interest in the Japanese culture.

Do you guys like fairy tale retellings? Have you read any?

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