Rose Daughter

Rose Daughter
Robin McKinley
Ace, 1998

Twenty years after she wrote Beauty, Robin McKinley revisited the story of 'Beauty and the Beast' in Rose Daughter. The basic premise is much the same as in Beauty: youngest sister must take her father's place as the fearsome Beast's "prisoner" and there are many mysterious enchantments and gardens and roses and 'adventures.' Standard Beauty and the Beast fare - but also So. Much. More. I loved both Beauty and Rose Daughter immensely - but in two wholly different ways.

Where Beauty is a sweet, simple retelling of the story, Rose Daughter reflects a more complex and detailed telling. It was engrossing, reminding me of the way I felt reading Pegasus - it was a story that got deep inside me, invading my dreams and making me think. There's more magic, more danger, more development of both characters and the story. It's a complicated story that tugs at the heart and gets into your head. It's a story that requires more of you, as reader, than Beauty did. And I like that. Actually, I love that - I want to get involved with the books I'm reading. (Though I will say I'm very glad I didn't end up crying my eyes out while reading this one like I did during Pegasus!) I was swept up in the story and carried along until the ending - which caught my entirely by surprise. And yet, even though I wasn't expecting it to end the way it did, I was pleased - delightfully happy - with the ending.

Two different tellings of one story, by one author. Two very different approaches and appreciations. Two very different loves, for one of the most beautiful fairy tales there is ...

Book provided by my personal library.

1 comment:

  1. I love Rose Daughter, but my heart belongs to Beauty. I love the ugly duckling elements - maybe I read it at the right age ;). So while I enjoy Rose Daughter, it is Beauty I reread the most often. You will have to let me know what you think of Spindle's End & her originals ;)