Rating: 5/5 stars
The sisters’ wealthy father loses all his money when his merchant fleet is drowned in a storm, and the family moves to a village far away. Then the old merchant hears what proves to be a false report that one of his ships had made it safe to harbor at last, and on his sad, disappointed way home again he becomes lost deep in the forest and has a terrifying encounter with a fierce Beast, who walks like a man and lives in a castle. The merchant’s life is forfeit, says the Beast, for trespass and the theft of a rose—but he will spare the old man’s life if he sends one of his daughters: “Your daughter would take no harm from me, nor from anything that lives in my lands.” When Beauty hears this story—for her father had picked the rose to bring to her—her sense of honor demands that she take up the Beast’s offer, for “cannot a Beast be tamed?”
This book was first published in 1993. It is a book that I recently discovered as a result of my Beauty and the Beast love affair resulting from the recent release of the Disney live action movie. What I loved so much about this book was that it stayed true to the story and there was no retelling it in a way that changed the story or made me feel like it was now being turned into a young adult version of the story. It is a fairy tale version for adults that retained its magic and romance and when I finished it I could see myself re-reading it again soon. Robin McKinley takes a tale as old as time and retells it so that it stands the test of time. Loved it!