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Rose Daughter (Folktales #2)
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Rose Daughter (Folktales #2)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  13,084 ratings  ·  704 reviews
It is the heart of this place, and it is dying, says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast's palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken.

Twenty years ago, Robin
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Ace (first published September 16th 1997)
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
25th out of 1,555 books — 6,860 voters
Beauty by Robin McKinleyLord of Scoundrels by Loretta ChaseBeastly by Alex FlinnLover Awakened by J.R. WardWhen Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Beauty and the Beast
9th out of 422 books — 1,010 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Angie
I talk about my love for Robin McKinley's books a lot. I know everyone's read Beauty. It was her first book. It's essentially a classic of fairy tale retellings now. And I love it and will always love it for giving me a Beauty who was not beautiful and avoided mirrors at all cost and a Beast with a library of books from all the ages, including ones that hadn't even been written yet. Makes my little heart sing just thinking of it and the way I absorbed it when I was twelve. But fewer people are a ...more
Brownbetty
Robin McKinley's Rose Daughter tells the story of Beauty and the Beast, which she has already told before, and in my opinion, better, in [Book:Beauty]. She claims she felt she had to retell the story when she learned more about roses, after cultivating them. Never have I read a book before where I felt so much like the author was simply marking time until she got to the bit with the compost. Manure provides an important climactic moment. She certainly manages to convey what roses mean to her, bu ...more
Stephanie
I read this book as a teenager but retained no memory of it. After reading it again, I know why.

McKinley says in the afterward that she chose to revisit the Beauty and Beast story because she had more to say, especially about roses. Well, that's about all she has to say in this book. Lots about gardening, description of stuff, and cutesy-wootsy little animals. Other than that, nothing goes on in this book whatsoever.

The problem with this book is there's just no conflict. All the possible confli
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Anne
2.5 stars
The first half wasn't that bad....
Actually, mid-way through this book I thought it was pretty good, and I was sure that this one was going to end up wrangling 4 or 5 stars out of me.
Oh well, I've been wrong before.
Several things happened that lowered my enjoyment level down to nothing, and they all happened toward the end.
First, it's not like the pace in Rose Daughter was very fast to begin with, but I was dealing with it (admirably, I thought). You know how sometimes the beginning o
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Jen
I held my breath as I clicked the mouse, selecting this book for the library to "hold" for me. Did I really want to read another obvious fairy tale reworked? Granted, I had read "Beauty" numerous times, recommended it to everyone, purchased it for myself, and was certain it was what Disney based their animated feature around. And just last year I had braved the retelling of Sleeping Beauty as "Spindle's End" and was equally entranced.

I had read alot of her other, young adult works of fiction thr
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Sluggish Neko
The biggest problem I had with Rose Daughter is that it dragged in a very tedious way. The main offender was the heroine, Beauty. The reader is stuck with her as she spends a great deal of time alone tending her roses, having nightmares, and exploring an enchanted castle. Unfortunately, she lacks the spunk, vivacity, and humor of her two older sisters and makes everything-- even unicorns-- very dull. The Beast isn't that interesting either. He's humdrum, lacking any kind of personality. When the ...more
Heidi
what a mess. a slow, painful, overly descriptive mess. it took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to get into it and then once i did, i found the story only remotely interesting. AND even that was like pulling teeth to get through.
-why does she fall in love with him? because of 6 or 7 encounters and conversations?
-what's with all the animals? and the cat that gave birth on her bed while she was sleeping? gross. burn those sheets.
-i know there had to be some allusions and whatever with all her descriptions of the
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Nikki
I'm not sure which of McKinley's Beauty and the Beast tellings I like better. I liked the simplicity of Beauty, but Rose Daughter is a little more grown up, and there's a little more world building, and I went a little deeper into it than with Beauty because it had more depth to go into. I enjoyed a lot of the descriptions and the bits of magic, and the foreshadowing for what actually happened at the end -- although I thought it could have done with more foreshadowing, so that the greenwitch had ...more
Tadiana
I've read this book, Robin McKinley's second take on the Beauty and the Beast fable, twice, several years apart, but still have very mixed emotions about it. It's slow-paced, it starts up with interesting ideas and then drops them, the magical part is and always has been confusing to me (for some reason that happens with a fair amount of frequency in Robin McKinley's later books), and THE ENDING!?*@#! (view spoiler) ...more
Nikki
Definitely not my favourite of McKinley's works -- I thought I'd like it more than Beauty, and in one sense I do, in that something that bothers me about the ending of Beauty is addressed here and a different sort of ending written. I like the world, the sisters, the domestic stuff that (as usual) McKinley shines with. I liked the castle and Beauty's work there, and the way other little bits of fairytale lore come in (like her experiential seven days spent in the Beast's castle versus seven mont ...more
Marija
Hmm… I’m not quite sure how to rate this book. Indeed, some parts were rather good—inventive—but as I finished, I couldn’t help feeling a little unsatisfied.

Though, I first must give McKinley credit for being able to rewrite the story and make it seem fresh and original. It doesn’t read like it’s just another retelling of an old fairytale. I like how she infused magic into this world she created. The magic of gardening… the fragility of it all—the preparations and cultivation, how the blending
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Debbie
Sep 13, 2007 Debbie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fairy tale fans
Twenty years after Beauty, McKinley retells "Beauty and the Beast" once again. I liked this version better. The writing is beautiful and the story drew me in right away.

Beauty has few memories of her mother, who died when Beauty was very young. When her father's business fails, Beauty's family loses everything. One day, Beauty finds a will that leaves a home called Rose Cottage to her family. They leave the city, not knowing what they will find in their new home.

Beauty and her sisters, Jewelton
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Melanie
I read this immediately after reading "Beauty" by Robin McKinley, which was her first novel retelling the Beauty and the Beast faerie tale. While the first was a straight-forward telling of the faerie tale, with little deviation or depth to it, this one certainly takes it to more of a retelling. The basic story is the same, but she adds lots of details, background, and magic to the story to give it more life. However, I just couldn't get into the mythology of the world she built and found her de ...more
Natalie
I've read two other McKinley books and picked up this book because I've enjoyed her writing thus far. I didn't realize that Rose Daughter was another re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I was into the book, quite enjoying it right up until the part where the merchant father got word that one of his ships had made it back to port. Immediately I thought, oh no!

I only thought this because I'd already read McKinley's previous Beauty and the Beast re-telling entitled Beauty. In comparison, I liked Be
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Sherrah
I just finished reading Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter for, oh I don’t know, at least the fifth or sixth time. (I really ought to come up with a system for keeping track of how many times I read a book.) I come back to this book almost once a year because it’s just so…luscious and lovely. There are parts I get a little impatient with because it is so lush and extravagant in it’s telling, but every time I turn the last page, I sigh a sigh of deepest and most utter satisfaction. Because it is trul ...more
Susan
I recommend this retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with a disclaimer. I don't know. I felt like the story was beautiful but its slow pacing especially in the beginning, is bound to put off some readers. For that reason I might suggest it to other adults before some teens.

I hadn't realized this is a second take on the subject for her, and as I haven't read Beauty I can't compare it. The story of Beauty and the Beast might just be my favorite fairy tale though, and compared to its original f
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Shadow
Reading this book is like watching someone else's dream. Things happen inexplicably and the dreamer is unruffled, incurious. She just moves on to the next strange occurrence. You get a sense of heavy symbolism everywhere, but the symbols are specific to the dreamer herself, and have nothing to do with you, nothing to tell you. The people in the dream are not people at all, they are personified roles and attributes - Bravery, Intelligence, Wealth, Wisdom, Envy - moving through a landscape of Big ...more
Carol Nicolas
Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley, is a gorgeous retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Actually, this is Robin’s second version of Beauty and the Beast. I read the first one, Beauty, when it was first published in 1978, and I absolutely loved it. I’ve reread it so many times that my copy is dogeared, and the pages are falling out. I also enjoyed this version (Rose Daughter was published in 1997) but it is very different from Beauty. It is also beautifully told, with the symbolism of the roses and th ...more
Cherylann
I definitely like the book she wrote about Beauty and the Beast 20 years before this MUCH better. I actually thought this was a sequel to the first one when I started to read it. There seemed to be far less characther development even though this was a longer book. I had no idea why she fell in love with him this time, other then she is supposed to in the story. They hardly spent any time together and when they did, he was kind, but you didn't really learn anything about him besides that. There ...more
Larisa
Hmm, I wasn't as big a fan of this as I was of Beauty, but I still liked it. Robin McKinley's penchant toward including a variety of critters in her books always makes me smile (so sue me, I'm a total animal lover), and I prefer romance to be on the more subtle side. I felt that the way Beauty fell in love with Beast fit her character pretty well.

The only reason this only gets 4 stars (which is really more like 3.75) is, though I love McKinley's many quirks that are distinctly her (as far as my
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Heather
Sep 13, 2010 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I should have liked this novel better, but I didn't.

After reading McKinley's first novel on the fairy tale, Beauty, I thought it would be interesting to see what she had to say in this version, which is in many ways a separate retelling -- it's bigger, and more complex, and definitely intended for a slightly more sophisticated reader than the first. The descriptions are beautiful, and Beauty's sisters are much more interestingly developed. There's a nice background story to Beauty that rounds he
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Andrea
Let me begin by saying that "Daughter of the Forest" was a tough act to follow. Anything would have seemed lesser compared with it.

I thought it was intriguing/strange that an author would write two versions of the same story. In this case McKinley wrote two versions of Beauty and the Beast. I enjoyed the first one ("Beauty") but wanted there to be more interaction with the Beast and Beauty. I was hoping that would be the case with this one, but there was less. Lots of Beauty gardening, lots of
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Alex Criddle
Beauty continually has the same nightmare over and over again. She walks down a dark hallway towards a monster and as she grows older, her feelings toward the monster begin to change. Beauty lives in the city with her wealthy merchant father, her mother, and her two sisters—Lionheart and Jeweltongue. In an unexpected accident, her mother dies and soon after, her father falls into financial trouble. The three sisters and their father move to the country where an old woman has left them a small co ...more
Elisa
I liked most things about this book, except for the fact that the beast (*SPOILER*) remained a beast and didn't become the handsome man of the so significant portrait. I kept waiting and waiting for the moment to arrive only to have my hopes dashed by some twaddle about "I love you as you are and don't need you to change". Um... doesn't sleeping with a beast count as bestiality?

I did, however (being a flower lover) like all the descriptions of roses and the way they were such an exotic flower to
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Kenzie
Dec 20, 2013 Kenzie added it
Recommends it for: People who enjoy slow paced, deeply described, fairytales.
Recommended to Kenzie by: The library's loving shelf
As you have probably noticed, I have not rated this book in stars. What am I supposed to rate it against? It hardly seems fair to compare it to other tellings of Beauty and the Beast, because frankly this one is quite different.
I honestly am not quite sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it. Here are a few thoughts;
During some of the time when the pacing of Beauty's story grew almost unbearably slow, I wished that we could instead engage more in her sister's story. Her sisters grew a lot
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Lizzi Crystal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
Surprisingly, I did not enjoy this book. I've always liked Robin McKinley and I loved Beauty. This book, however, felt overly long and convoluted. I struggled with reading this - it felt dragged out to me. The writing was beautiful, as always. I think I'd have enjoyed this book a lot more if it was a novella. One thing I did like was Beauty and her relationships with her family, especially her sisters.
Sharon
"Rose Daughter" is an unusual and interesting re-telling of Charles Perault's "Beauty and the Beast." As with the original, Beauty's father takes a rose from the Beast's garden and is made to send his daughter to live at the castle.

Beauty's widowed father is a successful merchant who loses his business; her elder daughters' engagements are broken once that happens, and they go to live in a quiet house that is left to Beauty by a distant relative. While traveling to collect the proceeds from a fo
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Sam Grace
I'll give it a nice round three. I like the general story, and I like retellings. I like Lionheart, especially from the middle to the end. I do not like Beauty. She's flat. It's not that she's into gardening and I'm not, it's not that she's quiet where I'm loud. It's that a good author makes you want to be those things because you love the character. No, that's not quite right ... She's boring. She doesn't deserve to save the day. She doesn't overcome anything personally. She doesn't have any in ...more
Roxanne
Once I'd reread Beauty, it was an easy decision to reread Rose Daughter as well, to compare McKinley's two retellings of the beauty and the beast story. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd ever read Rose Daughter before, or if I had, it was so long ago that I remembered nothing about it. How nice to have a "new" McKinley novel to read! I liked the book a lot. Compared to Beauty, Rose Daughter is better in some respects, while Beauty is better in others. I think the Beast's characterization could have bee ...more
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TurtleBooks: General Discussion Thread for "Rose Daughter" 3 4 Jul 25, 2014 03:17PM  
Fairy Tales, Kind...: Rose Daughter 1 5 Mar 01, 2012 01:37PM  
Into the Forest: Link to McKinley essay on Rose Daughter 4 17 Mar 29, 2011 11:30AM  
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Born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, Robin McKinley grew up an only child with a father in the United States Navy. She moved around frequently as a child and read copiously; she credits this background with the inspiration for her stories.

Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books
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More about Robin McKinley...

Other Books in the Series

Folktales (3 books)
  • Beauty (Folktales #1)
  • Spindle's End (Folktales #3)
Beauty (Folktales #1) The Blue Sword (Damar, #2) The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #1) Sunshine Spindle's End (Folktales #3)

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“Roses are for love. Not silly sweet-hearts' love but the love that makes you and keeps you whole, love that gets you through the worst your life'll give you and that pours out of you when you're given the best instead.” 108 likes
“She laughed at him then, because he sounded like a small boy, not like a very large grown-up Beast with a voice so deep it made the hair on the back of your neck stir when you heard it. 'But vegetables are good for you,' she said, and added caressingly, 'They make you grow up big and strong.'

He smiled, showing a great many teeth. 'You see why I wish to eat no more vegetables.”
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