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Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty…

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (1978)

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Folktales (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,797164967 (4.16)3 / 284
  1. 122
    Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: A funny and fleshed-out take on Cinderella with a strong female protagonist. (And it's MUCH better than the movie)
  2. 90
    The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Another retelling of a classic fairy tale.
  3. 60
    East by Edith Pattou (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Another excellent fairy tale retelling with a strong female character.
  4. 82
    Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A later version of the same tale by the same author. Both excellent.
  5. 40
    Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Ice is a re-telling of the Norse fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Especially at the beginning (in the castle), the description is just breath-taking and reminds me quite a bit of McKinley's Beauty.
  6. 30
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy-tale retelling set in an India-like world.
  7. 20
    The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey (kiri_wren)
    kiri_wren: If you like fairy tales, Lackey's Elemental Masters series gives the classics a fun twist -- historical fiction meets magic.
  8. 42
    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (notemily)
  9. 21
    Beastly by Alex Flinn (elliepotten)
  10. 10
    Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: These books share a dark portrait of the woodlands, an intimate, loving family, and an air of unknown peril.
  11. 21
    Mira, Mirror by Mette Harrison (Bonzer)
  12. 10
    The Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold by Regina Doman (LucyClements)
    LucyClements: Great re-telling of the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red.
  13. 21
    Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Larkken)
    Larkken: Both are modern re-tellings of fairy tales.
  14. 10
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A spin on the classic tale, with elemental magic and 19th-century San Francisco.
  15. 12
    Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire (PatMock)

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English (163)  All (1)  All (164)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
A beautiful retelling. I think I would have appreciated more when I was younger. ( )
  zyphax | Dec 27, 2016 |
Three days ago, I could take or leave this book. The first 50% is slow, meandering, mostly narrative rather than in-the-moment. Then, I hit the half way point and I fell in love.

I don't give many books five stars, but I truly loved this one. It was sweet, lush, fantastical, magic.
I loved the scenes with Beauty and Beast as they are getting to know one another, falling for one another. Sure, the book is imperfect. The pacing is off, the ending feels rushed, there are some plot holes -- but it's beautiful. And if you're in the mood for a break from all the madness and can slow your mind down for a few hours, it's worth the read. ( )
  smadams | Dec 15, 2016 |
Meh. I like McKinley's writing style, but this was such a bland, blah story. I love Beauty and the Beast, but this was a pretty literal retelling except for a few embellishments to Beauty's life before meeting the Beast. There was never any real explanation of the curse, or the connection to the roses, and what he had done to deserve it besides a vague few sentences about a "family" curse because they had been so pious... Whatever that implies. The ending was extremely rushed and it didn't feel developed at all, just in a hurry to end. Like, a really big hurry.

I think my main issue though was the lack of emotion through the whole thing. Everyone read like a cardboard cutout, except perhaps Beauty's sister Grace who was about the only person to display any emotion at all. It was annoying, and boring to read. A big disappointment to what could have been a fantastic book... ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
If you've been a reader for a while, then I don't have to explain why this novel remains a classic example of brilliance. The author draws you into her retelling of the classic fairytale in a way that satisfies all your unanswered questions. Long before Disney began sketching Belle and their Beast, Robin McKinley re-imagined a classic tale with some fresh takes. As a child reading my favorite author's first novel, I wasn't so aware of the fact it was written before my favorite film. All I knew was it was fresh and rich and warm in a way that so many fairy tales are rarely penned any more. In this fatalistic, modern world, we tend to prefer gray as to black and white stories. Too often we don't allow ourselves satisfaction in simpler themes. Beauty is a wonderful reminder of the reason we need these hope riddled happier fairy tales. ( )
  JSilverwood | Aug 27, 2016 |
Very sweet straightforward telling of Beauty and the Beast,told from Beauty's perspective.Slow start,setting out the family circumstances,but once the father plucks one of the Beast's roses,the story picks up.Lovely descriptions of the magnificent mysterious castle,and a credible growing closeness between Beauty and Beast,spread over many months.Not sure of the target audience for this,since the style is simple but elegant.Maybe YA,verging on adult? Very enjoyable ( )
  dustydigger | Jun 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin McKinleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deas, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, BorisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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to my mother,
because it will be a long wait for Kilkerran;
and to both Mr. Rochesters, for aiding Mahomet to go to the mountain.
First words
I was the youngest of three daughters.
The sun shone through a window, then made its delicate, fawn-footed way across the broad inlaid floor, and found the Beast's blue velvet shoulders to set on fire.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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published in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060753102, Mass Market Paperback)

This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beast elicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.

The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.

This was McKinley's first book, written almost 20 years ago. Since that time she has been awarded the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and has delighted her fans with another retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fable, Rose Daughter. Still, McKinley's first novel has a special place in the hearts of her devoted readers, many of whom attest to relishing Beauty time and again. (Ages 11 to Adult)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.

» see all 3 descriptions

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