robin mckinley fairy tales

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Fri Jan 7 17:47:44 EST 2005

Allison advised...

> If you liked Beauty, you should definitely read Spindle's End and Rose
> Daughter, which are respectively retellings of Sleeping Beauty and
> Beauty and The Beast.  I liked them better than Beauty, probably partly
> because they seemed intended for an older audience.

Um.  I've not read "Spindle's End" (yet), but I would enter a caveat over
"Rose Daughter".  I personally like this book, and I like it as well as I
like "Beauty", RMcK's earlier Beauty and the Beast tale.  In fact, I own a
copy of "Rose Daughter" because Hallie (who will no doubt soon pop up to
give her opinion, so I won't pre-empt her too much) gave me hers because she
didn't like it.

I don't think I would precisely describe "Rose Daughter" as being 'a more
adult book' (a description I've seen of it, not one I'm ascribing to you!)
than "Beauty".  I would describe it as a more complex and less comfortable
book.  "Beauty" is a lovely sunshine-yellow/rose-pink comfort read, in my
view.  "Rose Daughter" is a midnight-blue/black-red, somewhat spiky book.
It requires a degree of brain-power from the reader - which is not a bad
thing, but is not always what a reader may want...I would never choose "Rose
Daughter" as a book to read when I have the flu, though "Beauty" suits me
very well under those circumstances.  I do think the mood of the reader has
a lot to do with which of the two books will suit him or her best at the
time of reading.

And while we're on RMcK's fairy-tale retellings, let's not forget
"Deerskin".  Not as spiky a book as "Rose Daughter" (*I* know what I mean
here, even if no-one else does!), but in no way a comfortable read.  Dark
green and broken glass, in my private lexicon. :-)  (I think I'm in the mood
to re-read it, in fact...)

Dorian (babbling).

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