Heart's Blood is Juliet Marillier's newest fairy tale retelling, and she's turned out a masterful Beauty and the Beast, keeping the bones of the story while bypassing the cliches of one of the most frequently retold tales there is.
Honestly, this may be my new favorite Marillier book (although Daughter of the Forest, as my first book of hers, will always hold a special place in my heart). With her usual graceful prose, she's created an original and strange telling of the familiar story. I don't want to give too much away, but I REALLY loved the concept behind this one.
So as far as plot goes, all I want to say is: Juliet Marillier's Beauty and the Beast.
As far as the writing goes, well, I'm completely in love with Marillier's style, and this one was more quick paced than some of hers -- while I love her writing I do occasionally find parts of the story to drag a little, not so in this one. She brought in a lot of unexpected elements, was really creative with the story in a way I haven't seen in other versions. I think a lot of retellings like to really focus on character development while keeping an old story absolutely in it's original frame. This version is just... more creative -- which is not to say she shortchanged her character development at all.
Agh! Just go read it! You won't regret it!