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Rose Daughter


3.78  ·  Rating details ·  19,360 ratings  ·  1,211 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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Ace (first published September 16th 1997)
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Kristen No. It's a different retelling of Beauty and the Beast…moreNo. It's a different retelling of Beauty and the Beast(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This is Robin McKinley's second take on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I'm a lifelong fan of McKinley, but this book was my first indication that her writing style might be headed in a direction that is, shall we say, less accessible to the average reader. I've read Rose Daughter twice, several years apart, but still have extremely mixed emotions about it.

It's slow-paced, it introduces interesting ideas and then simply drops them, the magical part is and always has been confusing to me (f
Mar 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
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
May 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
If you can believe it, this was my first Robin McKinley novel. I know. But the good thing is, I found it absolutely lovely, and I know that when I get to Beauty, I'll love it, too, especially knowing how the rest of you adore it. I've been told before that this author's work is right up my alley, and it really is: lyrical and haunting, full of magic and folklore. I'll definitely be making time to check out the author's backlist, including her other BatB retelling. ...more
The second of McKinley's Beauty and the Beast retellings.

B&tB is a problematic story - arguably a Stockholm Syndrome romance - but there are other aspects of the story that also interest me, which are brought to the forefront when reading two retellings of the story by the same author. The similarities and differences, and the message we're supposed to take from the story.

(view spoiler)
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Beauty lives in Rose Cottage with her sisters Lionheart and Jeweltongue and is learning to be happy. Then her father steals a rose from an enchanted castle and must send his youngest daughter to the Beast's lair where she sets about healing his damaged rosebushes and also his heart?

1. I was not prepared for that ending and am honestly kind of side-eyeing McKinley hard for allowing it to end like that??? I was not prepared to have to accept that kind of fetish in my fairy tale retelling. YIKE.

Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairytales
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
Nov 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairytales
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
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book had such wonderful promise. I fell in love with the writing and style immediately, thrilled to have found a retelling of "Beauty & the Beast" that still held on to so much from the original French fairy tale. I was flying through, unable to put it down (or stop listening as I tackled CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!).

Then little disturbances started to creep into the tale. Where was Beauty's charm beyond being able to to tend roses? And this Beast, he is already kind and considerate. Where was th
Giselle Bradley
*4.5 STARS
I adored this book so much! First off, the writing. I LOVED IT!! I literally found myself laughing out loud at point. Multiple times which doesn't happen often for me. And the character were also a delight. I loved them all! They were all very distinct and felt like different people. It's also refreshing to find a retelling that not only has "Beauty" have sisters ( I love Disney's Beauty and the Beast but I blame them for this key plot often being left out of retellings nowadays) but t
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
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: repeat-reads
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
Sigh . . . After Beauty, McKinley should've left the Beauty and the Beast fairytale alone and not revisit it just to shoot herself in both feet with this second attempt at a retelling. Readers who observed the flaws and plotholes in Beauty will notice that Robin McKinley not only repeats the same mistakes but actually exacerbates them; they're much worse in this story.

And the sad part is, this time the author can't be given the benefit of the doubt. With Beauty she was a fledgling author and so
Title: Rose Daughter
Author: Robin McKinley
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 1997
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retellings

This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review

So I didn’t get the one with this pretty cover at the library. My copy had a plain blue cover with a tiny graphic, which means I had the original 1997 release. But I’m sorry, I couldn’t bear to put that ugly thing on this page. Like Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek, I should do a cover challenge (Friday Fa
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
As a fic writer/reader, a lover of tropes, and a lover in particular of those inherent in Beauty and the Beast, I get why Robin McKinley would have wanted to retell this same story more than once. Heck, I was happy to read it again within months of reading McKinley's first retelling, Beauty -- and boy am I glad I read that one first, because if I'd started with Rose Daughter, I doubt I would have gone back for more. Rose Daughter is duller and far less romantic; for this version, McKinley seemed ...more

I liked this better than Beauty. At least, most of it. By the end, I was bored and ready for it to be over.

I came closer to believing in the love story here, but not close enough.

And I guess McKinley's writing doesn't match my tastes so well anymore. Too much description!

(Makes me want to read a really awesome Beauty & the Beast retelling, though. The trick, of course, being it has to be awesome for me.)
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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 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 Town, ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Nice beginning, slooooow middle, weird ending. Honestly not sure why this book was written.

Counting it for "A novel". VT reading challenge 2018
Aug 27, 2017 added it
Shelves: gave-up-on
This book was painful. I really thought I was gonna get a book with character development, depth, and different than the previous book.

Oh boy. Did I get something different. At times it was confusing but that ending, that ending was the most confusing of all. I sort of mad-rushed/skimmed through the other half of the book because the character development became boring, plodding, empty words just to fill pages.

But that ending. I don't think my eyes can unsee what went on there.
Tori Christensen
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rose Daughter hit on some of my favorite things: gardens, families who joyfully work together, fairy tales retold, and Beauty and the Beast. I love any well-written fiction that includes someone who loves gardens as much as me just as I love any well written music that includes the piano. They are just things that make my heart sing. Despite my love of gardening, I do not love rose gardening but the love that Beauty has for roses has made me rethink my refusal to plant roses. After reading the b ...more
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ugh, Beauty is the better of the two re-tellings of Beauty and the Beast by McKinley, hands down. In this one, Beauty is just too dumb and one dimensional for words. All she wants to do is garden. Booooring. I say dumb, because before she and her family left the city, she went to all if her friends to learn how to do important stuff like make butter and cheese and can goods, important survival stuff when going from a city to the middle of a rural village. A magical salamander that is her friend ...more
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, this is unsurprising. Yet another McKinley novel fails to enchant me. As always, these 3 Stars are for her writing alone - beautiful, melodic, and practically hypnotic. Sadly, the story is dull, lacking any real conflict and falling back on much of the same dialogue and plot lines from McKinley's original re-telling of "Beauty and the Beast," Beauty. While I enjoyed the vivid personality's of Beauty's sisters in this installment far more than I did in Beauty, its love story remains boring. ...more
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sometimes I wish we all knew a lot less about the evolution of Robin McKinley's sexual preferences over the years. This book is literally just a gothier and more bestiality-tinged Beauty, but with the added squickiness of her choosing to have him stay a (200-year-old) beast at the end because the alternative is having a hot husband but people will talk shit about them. That is the sum total of her reasons for marrying a giant monster instead of a hot dude. And her sisters all urge her to marry h ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
Enchanting. Original enough to bring the reader a fresh sense of wonder and discovery. Whatever I tell you will spoil your fun.

Classic tale told in a modern manner. Admirers of fantasy and fairy tales—not to mention roses—will love it. Disney couldn’t have done it better; in fact, Disney did it worse.

Do not read blurbs, reviews, or summaries. Read the book. It's magic.
I have to admire Robin McKinley’s choice to revisit a fairytale she had already successfully told years earlier: Beauty and the Beast has so much possibility and it’s not like McKinley’s previous novel, Beauty, was a perfect take on the material. I like the idea of an author reexamining a beloved story from another lens; the only other time I’ve seen that done in fairytale retellings is with Anna Sheehan’s A Long, Long Sleep and Spinning Thorns. Unfortunately, Rose Daughter is a mess—a mess wi ...more
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Play Book Tag: Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley 3 stars 5 21 May 12, 2018 08:27AM  
TurtleBooks: General Discussion Thread for "Rose Daughter" 3 11 Jul 25, 2014 03:17PM  
Fairy Tales, Kind...: Rose Daughter 1 7 Mar 01, 2012 01:37PM  
Into the Forest: Link to McKinley essay on Rose Daughter 4 23 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

Other books in the series

Folktales (3 books)
  • Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
  • Spindle's End

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