KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.
He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.
Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.
I flew through this follow up to Black Bird of the Gallows that is set within the same universe. I did not like it as much as the first book because I was not a huge fan of the romantic couple at the center of it.
I disliked the use of mental illness as main plot point with Essie, it did not sit very well with me. I understand why it was used based on the mythology of the Keepers but still was not a fan of it. It is this reason why I could not connect with the main couple within the story.
I still liked the writing style and the way that Kassel crafts her novels. I will be reading more from her in the future.
I recommend checking out this unique paranormal romance series.
3 Stars Out of 5 Stars.