Thursday, 1 January 2009

My Thoughts: Beauty by Robin McKinley


McKinley has taken the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast and reworked it into her own tale, presenting it to a new audience. I was really worried that this would be a modern take on the fairy tale, in a modern world, but I had nothing to worry about this book is set far enough back in history to contain the magic of a fairytale.
Beauty (an ungainly teenager) is removed from a life of poverty and a loving family when her father one day picks her a rose from the Beasts castle. She has to choose to live with the beast or give her father's life. Like any dutiful daughter it is her freedom which she chooses to forsake.
McKinley's depiction of the Beast's castle is mesmerising, I felt like I was back as a kid again, marvelling at Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Cinderella (can't ever recall having seen Beauty and the Beast - think Disney rereleased it when I was a teen and to cool to be watching stuff like that :rolleyes: The dishes fill themselves, she is dressed and pampered by invisible servants, and the ground of the castle change daily so she is never bored. She also has our fantasy library, more books than you could ever read, and it contains books not yet published, a view of the future she will not live to see.
Yes we all know how this story has to end, and McKinley sticks very close to the story, yet I was still wishing she would go back to him quickly before he faded away.
This may be kids fiction but definately is a must for anyone who loved/loves a happy ending and a fantasy world. Great for 9 year olds but also those of us who wish to escape to a magical world for a few hours. I'll definately be checking out her other books.


Challenges:

Fourth Annual NaJuReMoNoMo 1/5

999 Challenge 2/81

YA fiction 1/12

A-Z Challenge: Title 1/26


Other Reviews worth checking out:

Raidergirl 3
Have you reviewed this? If so pop a link to your review in the comments section

6 comments:

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sadly I've heard that she can be hit or miss, but another one I recommend is Deerskin - a retelling of the Perrault fairy tale Donkey Skin.

yellojkt said...

I had never heard of that book. My wife likes those retellings of classic fairytales.

And thanks for taking on the National Just Read More Novels Month Challenge.

raidergirl3 said...

I loved that library!
I have the video of Beauty and the Beast, such a great movie, you should watch it.
http://raidergirl3-anadventureinreading.blogspot.com/2008/03/book-beauty-by-robin-mckinley.html

Eva said...

I enjoyed this one too! But you HAVE to see the Disney movie...it's so good. :D

katrina said...

Nymeth thanks for the recommendation.
I may grab the film for a cold Sunday afternoon viewing

Lexie said...

Beauty was one of the first retellings I remember reading. At the time I had only really seen the disney version so the book was something else!