Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beauty by Robin McKinley

The first time I heard of Beauty was when Eva from A Striped Armchair put it on her list for books she'd recommend for the Women Unbound Reading Challenge. I'm so glad I chose to read it.

Told from Beauty's perspective, the story starts when Beauty's father, a widower, loses his fortune when his entire fleet is lost. Beauty and her two sisters have been accustomed to a life of ease, so when they move to a small house in the country, they must learn to adapt.

After some time, her father hears that one of his ships has returned and he rides back to see if that is true. On his way home, he is lost in the woods, and he encounters the beast. What was once to be a happy homecoming is now laden with sorrow as he recounts his tale and what the beast wants.

Beauty decides she must be the one to go and with her horse, Greatheart, she sets off into the unknown.

I believe this is my favorite adaptation of the fairy tale I have read thus far. Beauty is an amazing character. She's very strong, and I don't think I would have been able to do what she did. Especially not willingly. She's someone that is easy to admire, yet she's still human. And since I love horses, her relationship with Greatheart was awesome. They really trust each other.

Everything in this story was done really well. I'm pretty sure I could ramble for a fairly long time, but I'll just leave it with this: great story, great characters, great book.

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