117. Rose Daughter- Robin McKinley


Title: Rose Daughter

Author: Robin McKinley

Rating:  ★★★★

Shelves:  Fiction> Fantasy/Fairytales Re-telling/ Romance


It is the heart of this place, and it is dying, says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast’s palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken.
(Goodreads 2014)

It is not often that an author goes back to one of her first books after twenty years and basically rewrites the entire thing. So when I heard that Robin McKinley had actually written another re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, twenty years after her best seller and one of my favourite books, Beauty, I had to give it a try- I couldn’t not! I’m so glad I did.

Have I mentioned I love re-tellings? Because I really do. They are like the comforting, warm hug of the literary world. Revisiting childhood favourites in more detail and depth than you could ever imagine, and managing to make the story last more than the initial fairytales (which sadly only take around five minutes to read!), is a lovely, lovely feeling.

The story follows the traditional formula of both the original tale, and indeed her original re-telling Beauty, starting off with great detail about Beauty’s life before her father stumbles upon the Beast’s castle, describing her life with her father and her two sisters, here they are called Lionheart, who is known for her bravery and rash actions, and Jeweltongue, who is known for her sharp wit and blunt objectivity.

I gave this book four stars, liike I did Beauty, because like with Beauty I did feel that the amount of descriptions within this book made the pace go quite slow towards the end. In this one however, I did not feel the amount of description was necessary, in terms of the amount of time spent on the descriptions of gardening elements or whenever random animals turned up to prove that Beauty was bringing life back to the castle- once or twice was okay but after a while, it started to feel quite repetitive and I just wanted to continue the story. But some people will definitely love that aspect of it, I’m sure, so I can’t even totally say that is a negative thing.

I think out of the two, I prefer “Beauty” but Rose Daughter definitely holds it’s own and I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the original tale.


6 thoughts on “117. Rose Daughter- Robin McKinley

  1. I like the idea of an author revisiting their older work. I always feel the need to read both. Sometimes the new one is better, but not always. Sometimes with their fame they can edit how they want and leave too much boring stuff in. (I’m thinking of Magician master & apprentice) I’ll have to check out Beauty. (have to read the original first.)

  2. I liked Rose Daughter, but I also prefer Beauty. Rose Daughter seems more sophisticated and complex somehow, but I found the story and characters in Beauty more compelling. I’d love to reread it and see if I still fee the same way.

    • thebookheap says:

      yeah I think that’s exactly how I’d describe my feelings for the books too. The world in RD is immensely more detailed but the characters in Beauty just stuck with me better

  3. I think that McKinley can definitely over-describe sometimes, but her re-tellings are some of the best! I didn’t know she’d done another Beauty and The Best book. The good thing about fairy tales is there’s enough material that grows off from the original story to inspire so many different takes on the same idea. (It’s funny, I never really fell in love with the original Belle et la Bête, but it’s responsible for so many good novels.)

    • thebookheap says:

      definitely, I love reading re-tellings of all sorts of types because I find it interesting to see how the authors have interpreted the original tales!

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