Beauty – Robin McKinley

Synopsis from Amazon.co.uk

Beauty has always been embarrassed by her nickname – she is plain and awkward compared to her two elder sisters, Hope and Grace. But what she lacks in beauty she can perhaps make up for in courage. When their merchant father returns from a failed business trip to the city where they once lived, he tells his daughters a strange tale: how on his way home he lost himself in a winter storm, and stumbled out of it into the summer garden of a magical castle. Innocently he picks a rose, and a fearsome Beast roars at him that his life is forfeit . . . unless one of his daughters will take his place. He will not hear of it when Beauty declares that she will return to the castle in his stead, but she is determined to go. ‘He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much’, she says. ‘Cannot a Beast be tamed?’ This is a captivating retelling of the story of Beauty and the Beast.

My Review

A beautifully written take on the classic story Beauty and the Beast. When Beauty’s dad gets lost in a storm, he stumbles upon a grand castle that gives him shelter, but as he leaves the next morning, he can’t help but pick a beautiful rose for his daughter. A furious Beast confronts him, and tells him his life is now forfeit, but as the elderly man begs for his life, the Beast tells him he can sacrifice one of his daughters in his stead if he so wishes. Beauty insists upon being the one to go to the castle, but doesn’t expect what is waiting for her there. Can the Beast really be tamed?

I was really looking forward to reading this as Beauty and the Beast has been a love of mine since childhood, but it exceeded even my expectations. The language is which it was written perfectly suited the tale, and the ‘modern’ aspect kept filmly inline with the original story. Some aspects were changed, but it only made the story more interesting and realistic, rather than so fairytale like. It was all around a fantastic book, I didn’t dislike one thing about it, so if you’re a fan of Beauty and the Beast, then this is definitely something you will enjoy.

5/5

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