Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast


This much-loved retelling of the classic French tale Beauty and the Beastelicits the familiar magical charm, but is more believable and complex than the traditional story. In this version, Beauty is not as beautiful as her older sisters, who are both lovely and kind. Here, in fact, Beauty has no confidence in her appearance but takes pride in her own intelligence, her love of learning and books, and her talent in riding. She is the most competent of the three sisters, which proves essential when they are forced to retire to the country because of their father's financial ruin.
The plot follows that of the renowned legend: Beauty selflessly agrees to inhabit the Beast's castle to spare her father's life. Beauty's gradual acceptance of the Beast and the couple's deepening trust and affection are amplified in novel form. Robin McKinley's writing has the flavor of another century, and Beauty heightens the authenticity as a reliable and competent narrator.
This was McKinley's first book, written almost 20 years ago. Since that time she has been awarded the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and has delighted her fans with another retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fable, Rose Daughter. Still, McKinley's first novel has a special place in the hearts of her devoted readers, many of whom attest to relishing Beauty time and again. (Goodreads)

Book Details

Genre: YA, Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Published: July 26, 2005
ISBN-10: 0060753102
ISBN-13: 978-0060753108
Source: Purchased


Robin Mckinley books have always been very hit or miss with me. But one book that I love from her and have probably read five times since high school ended is Beauty. reading Beauty is like coming home to my momma’s comfort food after  a horrible day. You just know reading it is going to make your life well… a little more beautiful.

A have always enjoyed the story of Beauty and the Beast. In this version it goes back to Beauty having sisters as in the original tale. what I love about Mckinley’s version of this is that the sisters are not wicked, they love one another. I never understood why they always had to be mean in every other version I read with sisters. The family as a whole truly loves each other. Also from the old tale the rose comes into play in wonderful ways, but I will let you read that.

Beauty, the main character did not start of physically beautiful at all. She is a great strong, smart, young woman. Reading her grow into herself and her interactions with her family, and the Beast was a joy. By the end of the book you know why she is named Beauty.

The writing, world building, and characters in this magical fantasy world flow from one page to the next. I love this book.

Happy Reading,

    5 moons
5 moons: I absolutely loved it, and will be looking into everything this author writes.

Recommended for

11 and up


  1. This is one of my favorite fairy tales of all time, and I will definitely be looking for this version. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I LOVE this book so much. My favorite Beauty and the Beast story ever...but you already knew that :)

  3. You should Wendy, It's great:)

  4. Well colour me stupid! I've never even heard of this =/ Amazon here I come! :P

  5. I would love to know what you think of it after you read it Laura.


Thanks so much for the comment love!