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Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors in the whole world. Her first book is entitled, "Beauty" and is the story of Beauty and the Beast. Oddly, many years and books after "Beauty" Robin chose to tell the story of Beauty and the Beast again. And that is this book.
Both books have some things in common. They are both telling the same fairy tale, after all. But this story is fairly different in many ways. When this book first came out on paper, I got it immediately, but I was Very fond of "Beauty" and I think I was jealous on its behalf. I did not reread "Rose Daughter" again until this audio version came out. I can see now that "Rose Daughter" has much to offer. I think "Beauty" was the romantic ideal of an unmarried woman in her 20s, and "Rose Daughter" is the romantic ideal of a married woman in her 40s.
I still like "Beauty" better.
My advice if you have never read any of Robin's books: Start with "Beauty" or "The Blue Sword" or "The Hero and the Crown". Then if you fall in love with Robin's work, branch out into her other books, including this one.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
This book would get a solid 4.5 from me in the overall category if half stars were an option. Performance was excellent.
**NOTE** This is NOT a continuation of the original Beauty with her Beast, it's another retelling of the same story, from scratch. Think: a parallel universe where things are similar, yet also vastly different. Despite having the same name, Beauty is definitely a new main character.
What I liked:
-The alternate ending. Very cool. No spoilers here, I'm just glad I listened til the end.
-The sisters are also completely different characters, and I enjoyed their sassy personalities. Again, no spoilers, just know that these girls aren't Hope and Grace rinsed and recycled.
-Really funny little blooper they didn't catch toward the mid-end/end of the book -- "How are we doing on time?" Those always crack me up.
What I didn't like:
-While the original Beauty and "Rose Daughter" Beauty are cut from a similar cloth, I preferred the original Beauty from "Beauty" over this version. If I didn't know how much I loved the original, however, I believe I'd appreciate this Beauty a lot more.
-Another commenter pointed this out, and I agree: in audiobooks, the amount I skim past overly detailed descriptions of location when I'm enthralled with a book becomes very obvious. Robin McKinley is almost as descriptive as Diana Gabaldon, and unlike the Outlander books, which give enough meat due to their length to make up for all the dressing, this book felt slightly too short on character development for all the flowery descriptions.
Worth a listen! I'm happy with my purchase, and looking into more Robin McKinley books.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What I love about Robin McKinley is her respect for the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Not only is Beauty one of my favourite reads/listens of all time, it's comforting and a beautiful variation.
And then there is Rose Daughter, a different variation again. Not my utmost favourite, but still a great listen.
Bianca Amato does a great job reading this.