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Beauty (1978)

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Folktales (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,1962001,493 (4.14)3 / 340
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.
  1. 132
    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. 100
    The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Another retelling of a classic fairy tale.
  3. 70
    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. 30
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy-tale retelling set in an India-like world.
  6. 52
    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (notemily)
  7. 30
    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.
  8. 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.
  9. 20
    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.
  10. 10
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A spin on the classic tale, with elemental magic and 19th-century San Francisco.
  11. 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.
  12. 21
    Mira, Mirror by Mette Harrison (Bonzer)
  13. 21
    Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Larkken)
    Larkken: Both are modern re-tellings of fairy tales.
  14. 21
    Beastly by Alex Flinn (elliepotten)
  15. 00
    The Beast's Heart: A Novel of Beauty and the Beast by Leife Shallcross (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: Let's face it Beauty's tale has been done to death. This is a retelling from the Beast's view and, ironically, comes out of it more emancipated than in any other telling I have read.
  16. 12
    Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire (PatMock)

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» See also 340 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
I have loved this book since I was in high school. This Beauty really resonated with me - a not-really-beautiful bookworm who is, by her own admission, better suited to manual tasks than embroidery. Watching her relationship with the Beast change until she can at last admit to herself his importance to her is enchanting. ( )
  lsnow11 | Aug 1, 2023 |
I loved this. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite fairytale and this retelling is simply magic. Beauty was an extremely loveable character who is genuine and hardworking and honest and fair and practical. She is smart and caring and adaptable to bad circumstances. But it's not just her, her entire family are the stars of this book. All of the secondary characters are well drawn and fully developed. Hope and Grace and Ger and Father are all fierce and caring and loveable characters in their own right. All that besides, it was so nice to see a family portrayed as loving and caring and loyal and defensive of each other. There was no real bickering or animosity between them, they all supported and cared for each other and the amount of love was perfect.

Although a fairytale of love and acceptance, the romance itself is of little importance. Mainly the author focuses on developing the friendship between Beauty and Beast and showing how they come to care about each other.

Something about this book screamed more. As in more than anything else. I can't place my finger on what the more is but it's there. It just felt more fleshed out and emotive than many retellings. ( )
  funstm | Dec 1, 2022 |
Well crafted retelling and engaging to read. Sorta meh on the romance but thats just my usual attitude so. ( )
  mutantpudding | Oct 25, 2022 |
I think my problem with this book is not so much the book itself but the source material-- I realized as I was reading this that I just don't like the story of Beauty and the Beast. I have really never believed that Beauty fell in love with the Beast; it has always seemed more like a product of circumstance to me. Here is a young girl who is taken away from her family, isolated in an enchanted castle with only a beast for company. I think, in order to live out her life in a somewhat bearable manner, she has to come to sympathize with her captor.

That aside though, McKinley has created a wonderful story with lots of detail, and I particularly like how she describes all the enchantments in the castle. I also like that we learn more about Beauty's family and background. However, I feel that the interactions between the titular characters were very limited, so the revelation of their feelings for each other seemed too sudden. I think this is just McKinley's style; she writes little of the emotions of the characters, preferring the reader to infer them from their actions and words. I'm not sure it worked in this book, but I also think a part of this has to do with my general skepticism about the original fairytale. Sure, Beauty and the Beast respect each other and care for each other, and I do believe the Beast has romantic feelings for Beauty, but the other way around? It seems more like Stockholm Syndrome to me. ( )
1 vote serru | Oct 6, 2022 |
I love this book. It is one of my favorites, and I try to reread it every couple of years. When his business went under, Beauty's father moved his family to the north with his future son-in-law. The area they moved to is on the edge of a haunted forest. When Beauty's father must return to the city, he gets lost on the way home and ends up in the forest, which leads him to an enchanted castle. When he takes a rose to give Beauty, a Beast tells him he must bring one of his daughters to the castle to live with him. Beauty volunteers to go. She is afraid at first because the Beast is large, and the castle appears deserted. She does get the feeling that she is not truly alone. She finds that the time she spends with the Beast shows her that he is not the terrifying monster she thought he was. Beauty discovers they have a lot in common and enjoys spending time with him. After a while, she starts hearing the voices of the enchanted beings in the castle. When Beauty learns the fate of her sister's fiancé, she asks the Beast to let her go home and tell the news. He tells her she has a week, but if she is gone longer than that, he will die.

I liked how Beauty's family was such a loving family, not the poor little girl abused type of family. I loved Beauty and her independence. She seemed very adaptable and handled her time at the castle very well. I also loved the way that she was able to look past the surface of the Beast and see who he was. I loved the enchantments in the castle and how real all of it felt. The library was incredibly awesome. There were some entertaining parts, like the argument between Beauty and the "breezes" over the silver dress was great. The ending was a perfect fairytale. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Sep 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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.

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Average: (4.14)
1 12
1.5 2
2 53
2.5 18
3 267
3.5 71
4 569
4.5 69
5 686

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