Friday, January 31, 2014

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley - 292 pages

Rose Daughter is McKinley's second retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story.  Unlike her first, Beauty, or her retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Spindle's End, this one is lackluster.  Until the last chapter, it does not deviate from the original published tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (the story was an oral folktale centuries before that).  Thus instead of being a new interpretation, all it really does is expand on the original descriptions to the point of boredom (the tale as written by Villeneuve is a couple dozen pages).  To provide an example of what I mean, McKinley would often write a whole page or more describing a single object.  I kept reading hoping book would get better and that McKinley's magic from the other two retellings would begin but it never happened.  In all, this is the most disappointing book I have read in recent memory.  Perhaps even more so since I had been looking forward to another interpretation of a favorite folktale.

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