This is not merely a rehash of the first episode of the 1987-1990 tv series "Beauty and the Beast". It is a retelling of the story that introduces the characters adding depth, dimension and motivation not only to the characters, but to the story as well. What really happened to Catherine when Vincent left her at the basement of her apartment building after nursing her back to health? How did her friends and family take the news? More importantly, how did she manage to keep the secret of the tunnels and still explain her disappearance? I think Barbara Hambly does a wonderful job of taking these characters and situations and making them her own; adding more detail and information to explain what is not explained in the television show.
If you are not familiar with the television series you can still read this book and understand the characters and stories.
I liked this book much more than the other in the series: "Masques" by Ru Emerson. This one was much more interesting, well written and more like an original novel rather than an echoing of the script.