Sunday, June 08, 2008

Beauty - Robin McKinley

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 271
Reason for Reading : tl;dr Challenge, Irresitible Review Challenge, Once Upon a Time Challenge

Honour is the youngest sister who is nicknamed Beauty despite her feeling like she is exactly the opposite, especially when compared to her older sisters Grace and Hope. They are close sisters despite Beauty's misgivings about herself. They are from a rich merchant family living with their father after their mother and younger sister die. One day he suffers a reversal of fortune and the family are stumped at what to do until Ger expresses his desire to marry Hope. He knows of a house in the country where he is from where they could all live and he could work as a blacksmith. Soon after he married Hope, they depart for the country and she is pregnant with twins.

In the country they get along well with more menial work. They have a massive horse Greatheart given to Beauty to act as a cart horse which helps out. One day news of one of their fathers ships that had been lost is heard and he journeys back to the city to deal with it. On his way home he becomes lost on the forest finding shelter in a mysterious castle with servants he is unable to see. In the morning he picks a rose to take back to Beauty when a Beast appears and offers him the choice of his life or one of his daughters coming to live with him of her own free will. Thus Beauty departs to the hidden castle to live with the Beast with only Greatheart for company.

Obviously this is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. It is charmingly told with the girls not being quite so spoilt as in some other versions. Beauty adapts well to country life with her practical nature and likewise to living with the Beast. The characters were likeable which always help draw you into a tale and the narrative was enjoyable and warming. I definitely enjoyed this tale and recommend it to all lovers of fantasy, fiction and fairy tales.

Other reviews:
Things Mean a Lot - I think it was here I first read about this novel


Q said...

This is one of my favorite books!

chrisa511 said...

Another great review! I can't wait to read this's tapping it's foot very impatiently on my TBR shelf right now ;)

Ana S. said...

I liked the characters a lot too. I'm glad you enjoyed this - but then, of course you would :P

Kim L said...

I don't have a review on my blog, but I heart this book. I loaned it to a friend who lost it, but I've totally considered buying myself a new copy. I love her characterization of the Beast, and especially the library, with all the books that haven't been written yet.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I've heard such good things about this book--I love the story of Beauty and the Beast and the retellings I've read. I'll have to put this one on my list! Thanks for the review.

Melissa said...

Oh, I'm so glad you liked this one. It's got a special place in my heart, being the first YA book I read as an adult. It kicked off my current love of all things YA... that, and it's a wonderful retelling of a good fairy tale. :)