Friday, July 23, 2021

Hearts at Dawn by Alysa Salzberg #bookreview #fairytale #beautyandthe beast


Hearts at Dawn
by Alysa Salzberg
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Historical Fiction

Book Description History and magic intertwine in a fairytale retelling that will capture the hearts of Beauty and the Beast fans.

Hope helps you endure. Love will break the spell.

Paris, 1870. As the Franco-Prussian War enters its desperate final months, the capital transforms from a splendid metropolis into a city under siege. Lavish meals change to rations, pigeons deliver letters, and two destinies will collide, challenged by a seemingly unbreakable curse.


Every night, New York aristocrat Orin Rush transforms into a monster. After learning that a human heart is the only way to break the curse, he keeps himself carefully distant from anyone he might hurt.

Can he lift the enchantment without taking a life?

His search for answers leads him to Paris.


Every day, free-spirited Claire Turin photographs the people and animals of Paris. Fascinated by the city she loves, her greatest dream is a secret she keeps in her apartment. Her greatest fear is the emptiness of night when she thinks of the family she’s lost.

She’s never loved anyone else. Maybe she never will.


Will Paris and its people survive the hardship of the Siege? Will Orin break the curse? And will two hearts who’ve never known love awaken in the City of Light?

My thoughts: The word that comes to mind when I think about this book is beautiful. Alysa Salzberg has written a book that is, well, beautiful.

Hearts at Dawn is told in the third person by the one who cursed Orin to become a beast at night. It is a "Beauty and the Beast" retelling that also reminds me of "The Swan Princess". Two other words are ones that I think of when contemplating this book, regret, and hope. I don't believe that the fairy's name (at least that's what I think she is) who cursed Orin out of jealousy is mentioned. She holds deep regret as she watches and waits for the curse to be lifted. Hope is what Orin looks for in his future. He is in Paris looking for clues to break the spell, and while there he meets Clair. A dynamic young woman who he holds in high regard.

Another interesting layer is that it is told during the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. I was impressed with Salzberg's description of the living conditions of the people. She pulled me into the book and I could imagine myself there with the characters.

I'm grateful that I borrowed the book from Kindle-Unlimited. It is a story that will stay with me for a while.

Online Purchase Link:

About the AuthorAlysa Salzberg is a writer and worrier.
She lives with her family in Paris, France.
Besides them, she loves books, cats, history, movies, art, antiquing, celebrity gossip, and cookies.
You can learn more about her and Hearts at Dawn at

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