- Virginia Johnson
Do you love the magic, romance, and wisdom of the traditional tale of Beauty and the Beast? Are you ready for something more than a Disney retelling? Award-winning fantasy author Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter will grant your wish.
“But . . . it’s not the same!” you may think when you start the story and find not one but three beautiful girls who seem to have nothing in common with bookish Belle. There’s Lionheart—who roars her way into town legend with her crazy-brave horsemanship. Jeweltongue’s sometimes waspish wordplay draws admirers from the intellectual set. Finally, there is Beauty, whose gift for gardening seems almost supernatural. Kind and gentle as she is, broken creatures seem to find their way to her, and, if dreamy Beauty seems a little out of sync with the rest of the household, no one really minds.
“Beauty and the Beast” is an archetypical fairy tale, like “Cinderella,” that has had dozens of different versions, depending on the culture and time period of its storytellers. In Rose Daughter, the author has set her story in a magical time when the three daughters of a powerful sorceress (and a successful merchant) find that a reversal in their fortunes will lead them to very different futures than they once imagined.
As this young adult/adult novel unfolds through the seasons, you’ll spend enough time with Beauty, her family, and her eventual beloved to truly appreciate them. And, in a world (mostly) overflowing with magic, the reason why the Beast is cursed is correspondingly more complicated—and more meaningful.
There are no song-and-dance routines in Rose Daughter, but there is perhaps more magic. With a true storyteller’s gift, Robin McKinley once again tells a satisfying tale of love, enchantment, and discovering what really matters.
You can read a sample of Rose Daughter now: