Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Beauty by Robin McKinley
I first discovered Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley when I was in seventh grade. Middle school is always a prime example of "man's inhumanity to man," and books were my best means of escape. Beauty quickly became a favorite. I borrowed the battered paperback copy from the school library several times that year, and have reread it more times than I can count in the years since. I've worn out at least two paperback copies of my own, and the hardcover I now own is starting to look a little worn! However, unless my record-keeping is faulty, it's been over four years since I last reread it -- so I guess I was due for a reread.
This is a lovely retelling of the classic fairy tale (specifically, it seems most influenced by the de Beaumont version). It doesn't depart from the original in the big details, but does a beautiful job of fleshing out the story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys, or thinks they might enjoy, fairy tale retellings. It's also a great starting point if you've never read anything by Robin McKinley.
(Reviewed from my personally purchased copy.)