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Beauty (1978)

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Folktales (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,9101931,386 (4.14)3 / 331
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 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
    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. 52
    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (notemily)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 21
    Beastly by Alex Flinn (elliepotten)
  11. 21
    Mira, Mirror by Mette Harrison (Bonzer)
  12. 10
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A spin on the classic tale, with elemental magic and 19th-century San Francisco.
  13. 21
    Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Larkken)
    Larkken: Both are modern re-tellings of fairy tales.
  14. 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.
  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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Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
I should actually read this some day, and another incentive is that..

A film based loosely on it is in the works with Guillermo del Toro as director and Emma Watson as "Beauty"

  Litrvixen | Jun 23, 2022 |
It took me two tries to get into this book. I realized it's probably because I'm so used to the style of writing that dominates today, with equal parts dialogue and action and introspection. This book is narrated the way old-timey fairy tales are, so that in today's world it would be considered 90 percent "telling" instead of "showing." There is also very little conflict, another thing that gets injected into today's stories.

Once I got into the world, I enjoyed the book. I especially liked reading how Beauty experiences the magic, because the reader sees and feels it right along with her.

The love story is kind of shallow (with the Beast immediately loving Beauty, at least according to the servants); but Beauty and the Beast is just an odd story. And the Beast doesn't seem to change at all--he's basically nice to Beauty from the time she arrives, as if he's already been beaten down by his decades of enchantment, and not in the process of learning any new lessons. But if you like the fairy tale, it was worth reading.

Re: my cozy rating... I didn't consider this cozy when I read it, but someone suggested it recently, and I cannot remember why I didn't think it was cozy. I'm not sure if it was an oversight or if I'm forgetting something stressful about it!
  JaneBuehler | Jun 9, 2022 |
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It's written in 1978. It re-imagined Beauty as a girl who didn't have a beautiful appearance, but was very intelligent and good with horses. (And at the end of the book it turned out she's actually very beautiful, she just didn't perceive herself as such. ) She loved reading, so one of the highlights of her time at the enchanted castle was visiting its huge library with books published in the past, present and future. (Did Disney rip off ideas from the book to create their movie adaptation?) There's a lot of description of Beauty's life with her family before her father encountered the Beast -- I think it took up a third of the book. Then there's a lot of description of how the forest surrounding the enchanted castle looked, how the castle grounds looked, how the castle looked, how pretty Beauty's dresses were.....that may have taken up another fourth of the book.
So the story moved slowly. But I loved it! I'm not sure why. I guess just really enjoy reading about beautiful, magical things. And the Beast's unrequited love for Beauty was really moving; I was rooting for him all the way. I will definitely recommend this book to my daughter once she gets old enough to appreciate books with a slow plot :P ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
I LOVED this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Highly emotionally intelligent and full of warmth, hope, and honesty, McKinley captures the spirit of the fairy tale with her own special flair. A must read for fantasy lovers! ( )
  AngelaLam | Feb 8, 2022 |
This is a wonderful retelling of Beauty & the Beast filled with love and magic that will captivate the reader until the very end and leave you wanting more. ( )
  Chelsea_K | Dec 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (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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Awards and honors
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
published in A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories
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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)
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2 52
2.5 18
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3.5 72
4 545
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