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by Robin McKinley

When the family business collapses, Beauty and her two sisters are forced to leave the city and begin a new life in the countryside. However, when their father accepts hospitality from the elusive and magical Beast, he is forced to make a terrible promise - to send one daughter to the Beast's castle, with no guarantee that she will be seen again. Beauty accepts the challenge, and there begins an extraordinary story of magic and love that overcomes all boundaries. This is another spellbinding and emotional tale embroidered around a fairytale from Robin McKinley, an award-winning American author.
Download Beauty epub
ISBN: 0385604807
ISBN13: 978-0385604802
Category: Teen
Author: Robin McKinley
Language: English
Publisher: Gardners Books (March 31, 2003)
Pages: 259 pages
ePUB size: 1791 kb
FB2 size: 1588 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 293
Other Formats: mbr docx lrf azw

I am an 11 year old girl writing a review on my mom's account. I love this book because it's not childish like the Disney Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with the characters in this book. This is the first book I have read by Robin McKinley. The story is very sweet. I felt like I was in the story.
You get to follow this young woman's life, starting out from being wealthy in the city. Her father's job doesn't end up working out. (She's motherless...) They have to move to the country where her brother in law grew up. They're the only ones very close to the "enchanted" forest. Her father gets lost and goes to the castle. After that there is a sweet romance that you fall in love with. I loved this story! It's great for kids 10+... I think that both boys and girls would enjoy this. I did!
The great thing about a fantasy is that some of it is timeless. That is totally the case with Beauty. It was originally published in 1978 shhhh but when you pick it up it is really a tale as old as time but it can be told throughout these decades seamlessly. It could as easily been published last month and because it is fantasy you’d never know.

Why I liked this Re-Telling:

It’s a classic beauty and the beast retelling the one I remember from my own childhood with an enchanted castle, the rose, the curse.

*** Ger strode forwards and caught him in his arms as he staggered, and then half carried him to a seat near the fire. As he sank down with a sigh we all noticed that in his hand he held a rose: a great scarlet rose, bigger than any we had seen before, in full and perfect bloom. “Here, Beauty,” he said to me, and held it out. I took it, my hand trembling a little, and stood gazing at it. I had never seen such a lovely thing. ***

I also saw where Disney might have got some of there ideas from. There are mysterious voices and servants in the castle that are invisible and always trying to ‘help’ Beauty with getting dressed and dancing a parade of food in front of her at meal times to chose from.

The Castle itself is amazing with rooms that move and melodious giggling winds that try to direct you around the place. As soon as you start to feel lost just go around the corner and your room will be there.

The Beast was sweet and charming and my heart broke for him as he tried to get close to a reluctant beauty. He has been lonely for so long and it really showed through in the story.

*** “You fainted,” he said; his voice was a rough whisper. “I caught you before you reached the floor. You—you might have hurt yourself. I only wanted to lay you down somewhere that you could be comfortable.” I stared at him, still kneeling, with my fingernails biting into the sofa cushions. I couldn’t look away from him, but I did not recognize what I saw. “You—you clung to me,” he said, and there was a vast depth of pleading in his voice. ***

This is a perfect story for MG and YA readers for an introduction to fantasy writing as well as great for older readers that want to feel transported back to their younger selves.


If you are a semi-book snob like me you’d miss this book because it is ‘too old’. But I challenge everyone to get past that way of thinking at least in the fantasy genre.

It takes a little time to pick up. The beginning was slightly slow for me especially as they are traveling out of the city to their new lives in the country. I sometimes get really board during traveling….just me. But once they are settled in the country and all the tales of the magical enchanted wood start cropping up I was totally hooked.

*** “It’s said there’s a castle in a wild garden at the center of these woods; and if you ever walk into the trees till you are out of sight of the edge of the forest and you can see nothing but big dark trees all around you, you will be drawn to that castle; and in the castle there lives a monster. He was a man once, some tales say, and was turned into a terrible monster as a punishment for his evil deeds; some say he was born that way, as a punishment to his parents, who were king and queen of a good land but cared only for their own pleasure.” ***


This is a beautiful retelling of a classic story with great imagery, a strong heroine and fantastic language in the telling. Totally worth a read.
I was disappointed at how this book ended as I have been a fan of Robin McKinley’s other works. But unfortunately, I have no other way to describe my reaction to finishing this; I was reluctant to give it two stars but I must be honest.

The strengths of this novel include a detailed and interesting backstory for the Beauty of the classic tale, and a lot of interesting descriptive details added to the castle and environment itself, but at the unnecessary expense of almost anything else. The specifics of the magic system that underlies the carefully described setting are not explained, the results are merely reported, and the details of the underlying curse poorly mentioned in a pitiful paragraph in the final chapter leaving more questions than answers. The Beast is sadly underdeveloped, with almost no sense of personality or internal drives or struggles (spoiler: he literally HAS NO NAME), likewise is the relationship between the titular characters fleshed out in any sort of meaningful way. We are talking Anakin and Padme levels of why-are-you-interested, your-love-has-no-basis-in-anything, here. Indeed, it seems like the moral of this version of the story is that if you hang around someone who is minimally nice to you long enough, particularly if circumstances create little to no natural, say, living in a magic castle that caters to your every whim with absolutely no effort or purpose on your part but pure too can develop strong feelings for that person or whatever it is that is the sole available interpersonal interaction. The ending was one of the most blatant and obnoxious deus ex machinas I’ve ever read, and the “crisis” that begat it made no sense.

In short: Everyone in this story is a nice, sweet, honorable person; at the beginning most are upper middle class bordering on rich, then they become merely middle class, then an obnoxiously wealthy person gives them some stuff just because even though they were already on the way to regaining their upper middle class status so now they are actually rich. Everyone falls in love and gets married and is beautiful. A horse is there.

I have a lot of affection for this particular fairy tale and I’m greatly saddened that this version was not more fleshed out before publication; even the DISNEY cartoon had more sense of story and struggle, with villains and motives and overcoming obstacles. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, which is sad because I wanted it to be better.