Book of the Month: Rose Daughter
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
First, a look at the cover. It's a beautiful blue and rather plain, but with good symmetry. I don't like that McKinley's name is more prominent than the title, but that seems to be a thing when you become a big author. Overall, the cover is enticing.
Rose Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In some ways it's similar to the original. Beauty's father stumbles across the Beast's house and take a rose for his daughter. The Beast says he will let him go if the man sends his daughter to him. Beauty goes to the Beast and slowly falls in love with him. But it's also different. The reason Beast wants Beauty is to grown his roses again. There are unicorns and greenwitches and magic. In the end, it's up to Beauty to save the Beast through love.
Many people don't like this book because they read her first retelling of the same fairy tale, Beauty, first. They're apparently very different books. Because I've never read that one, I love this book. It's one of my favorites.
While at times the writing can be a bit hard to understand, I love the prose. She has a way of describing things that makes them easy to see. You can almost feel the maliciousness of the house and the tranquility of the glass house.
It's also nice that Beauty and her sisters are great friends. In some versions they're jerks. In this one they're sisters bonded through hardship. It gives Beauty more toughness than other versions.
As for plot, it's well conceived. A bit tricky to follow at times and a little slow, but this isn't exactly a high action tale. McKinley's worldbuilding is great, giving you tastes of a fantasy world that you never get to see but wish you could explore.
Have you read Rose Daughter? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments.