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Rose Daughter (1997)

by Robin McKinley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Folktales (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,897604,851 (3.9)188
Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay, and through her love he is released from the curse that had turned him from man to beast.
  1. 90
    Beauty by Robin McKinley (infiniteletters, HollyMS)
    infiniteletters: An earlier version of the same tale by the same author. Both excellent.
    HollyMS: Beauty was Robin McKinley's first retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty is superior to Rose Daughter, however.
  2. 50
    East by Edith Pattou (infiniteletters)
  3. 30
    The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: A spin on the classic tale, with elemental magic and 19th-century San Francisco.
  4. 20
    Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: An excellent fairy tale retelling set in an India-like world.
  5. 10
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (evymac)
    evymac: Fairy tale-like read with great characters and an enchanting plot.
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» See also 188 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Beauty and her sisters Jeweltongue and Lionheart have to restart their lives after their merchant father loses everything and they move to Rose Cottage, outside a small town. They begin to rebuild their lives as one sister discovers a talent for sewing, the other for horses, and Beauty herself brings back the garden - and the roses - of the cottage. But then their father leaves on a journey and, on his return, gets caught in a storm where he finds shelter in a castle. And... well, you know the rest, don't you?

A delightful retelling of Beauty and the Beast, one of my favorite fairy tales, and not the first time McKinley has tackled it (indeed, I read Beauty back in 2008, but alas, I wasn't writing reviews for every book at the time and I don't remember it). Some of McKinley's style is lost on me, unfortunately, because I don't picture what I read clearly, and she writes with intricate detail about the castle and garden and... it kept slowing me down and made it hard for me to follow when I just wanted to know what would happen next. But I did love the sisterly bonds, and the way in which Beauty makes friends at the castle with the animals and roses. ( )
  bell7 | Jan 1, 2024 |
I’ve been meaning to read this Beauty and the Beast retelling because T. Kingfisher said it was an inspiration for her Bryony and Roses (which I loved). So, a comparison was inevitable ;) I did like the process of comparing. This is the magic of retellings, I guess – so similar, yet so different.

As for my enjoyment of the book… well. It is kind of cozy, and also very very very slow. Everything is drowning in details and descriptions (I waved my hands a lot and said “get on with it, please”). The prose is pretty enough, but every few pages there were long clumsy sentences that looked like broken and twisted mountains, with things sticking out. I gritted my teeth and climbed over.

I didn’t care for any of the characters very much. There were characters in Bryony and Roses. Beauty, Beast, Beauty’s sisters etc were just shadows and bored me.

There were a few details that I did like, glimpses of a better story: the first meeting between Beauty and her Beast; the old merchant writing poetry, the glasshouse with its roses; Beast’s paintings.

The last third of of the book was a mess. So convoluted. So confusing. So “this is not a story I want to be reading”. I skimmed. The great fairy tale deserved better than this. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Dec 15, 2023 |
Everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast. What makes McKinley's Rose Daughter different is the treatment of Beast. Yes, the moral of the story still stands that true love is blind and even a beast can find love...eventually. Yes, Beauty is selfless and kind, a lover of all nature (even bats and toads), but missing is the feeling she is a prisoner; that she is trapped with the beast. In Rose Daughter she can go home at any time. All she has to do is tend to the Beast's roses to repay him for the dark red one her father stole. The other major difference is that Beauty does not end up with a charming prince at the end. I greatly appreciated the choices she had to make, especially the one at the end.
As an aside: Straight away you know you are in for a treat when a bad-tempered dragon on a leash is introduced on the very first page. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 24, 2023 |
I loved this story and felt that it was a great re-telling of the story Beauty and the Beast. This book has many interesting elements to it and is a great book to read. ( )
  Chelsea_K | Dec 1, 2021 |
Beauty-ful, and not at all beastly. ( )
  Conni_W | Jul 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Ironically, this reworking has disabled the fairy tale, robbing it of tension and meaning, and creating for her readers a less usable enchantment.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McKinley, Robinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amato, BiancaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddard, AngelaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griesbach, CherylCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martucci, StanleyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Neil and Tom,
whose absurd idea it was

and in memory of
a little lilac-covered cottage
where I used to live
First words
Her earliest memory was of waking from the dream.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay, and through her love he is released from the curse that had turned him from man to beast.

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