Rose Daughter

Rose Daughter

3.9 59
by Robin McKinley

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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…  See more details below


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 McKinley enthralled readers with the power of Beauty. Now this extraordinarily gifted novelist retells the story of Beauty and the Beast again—but in a totally new way, with fresh perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight. In Rose Daughter she has written her finest and most deeply felt work, a compelling, richly imagined, and haunting exploration of the transformative power of love.

Editorial Reviews
One of the biggest problems for the fantasy-reading world is that Robin McKinley doesn't write enough. The other is that her books are often published as young adult novels in hardcover, so they might be missed. This one shouldn't be missed. It's a return to the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," the story that underlay her first published work, Beauty (available in a HarperCollins YA edition), and as such it's a story that offers no genuine surprises. That said, it offers a wonderful, deep sense of magic, a warm affection for characters that's almost unparalleled, and a love of growing things, of gardening, that's probably -- in this genre -- just as unique. Beauty and her sisters, having had their lives destroyed by the tragedy of their father's financial misfortunes, travel to the countryside and there find and make a home for themselves in a lovely cottage where roses once bloomed. Roses are McKinley's symbol for magic here, but they're also her symbol for love -- and they take careful work, thorns and all; she doesn't imply that either love or magic comes easily. Highly recommended.
—Michelle West

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.26(w) x 6.96(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Her earliest memory was of waking from the dream. It was also her only clear memory of her mother. Her mother was beautiful, dashing, the toast of the town. Her youngest daughter remembered the blur of activity, friends and hangers-on, soothsayers and staff, the bad-tempered pet dragon on a leash--bad-tempered on account of the ocarunda leaves in his food, which prevented him from producing any more fire than might occasionally singe his wary handler, but which also upset his digestion--the constant glamour and motion which was her mother and her mother's world. She remembered peeping out at her mother from around various thresholds before various nurses and governesses (hired by her dull merchant father) snatched her away.

She remembered too, although she was too young to put it into words, the excitability, no, the restlessness of her mother's manner, a restlessness of a too-acute alertness in search of something that cannot be found. But such were the brightness and ardor of her mother's personality that those around her were also swept up into her search, not knowing it was a search, happy merely to be a part of such liveliness and gaiety.

The only thing that ever lingered was the sweet smell of her mother's perfume.

Her only memory of her mother's face was from the night she woke from the dream for the first time, crying in terror. In the dream she had been walking--she could barely walk yet in her waking life--toddling down a long dark corridor, only vaguely lit by a few candles set too far into their sconces, too high up in the walls. The shadows stretched everywhere round her, and that was terrible enough; and the silence was almost as dreadful as the darkness. Butwhat was even worse was that she knew a wicked monster waited for her at the end of the corridor. It was the wickedest monster that had ever lived, and waiting just for her, and she was all alone.

Copyright ) 1997 by Robin McKinley Rose Daughter. Copyright © by Robin McKinley. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Dazzling…has the power to exhilarate.”—Publishers Weekly

“Luxuriant…the story is full of silvery images.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Every sentence and every occurrence seems infused by magic.”—Fantasy & Science Fiction

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Rose Daughter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have forever been etranced by the story of Beauty and the Beast. This perpective is by far the most beautifully written and sensually appettizing. I truly recommend any person that very individual who is interested in the Beauty and the Beast fable to read this novel and absorb each aspect Robin McKinnley introduces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rose Daughter is fantastic! The way she writes it is strange and different but enchanting. I couldn't put it down! This book seems like a longer, more in depth version of her book, Beauty, but it is still amazing. The ending highly satisfied me because it is not your traditional Beauty and the Beast ending and I loved it a lot! Though nothing can compare to the magic of Disney's Beauty and the Beast this is a book that should not go without being read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was about thirteen when I first read this, and I remember absolutely loving it! I think you have to have patience and maturity in order to fully appreciate this book. The detail and the writing weave around you like a spell. I definately reccommend this to young girls, and I think it is the best re-telling of Beauty and the Beast that I have read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story's pretty good,I've enjoyed it so far & can't wait to get to the ending.I was bored after a long summer with nothing of intrest to read/do,until I set my eyes upon this book.I absolutly love it so far.At some parts,I got tired of it,it kept goin on & it made progress.It's a retelling of Beauty & the Beast,but completely different,but it's similar.Events(some) fall into same order.McKinnley's 'Rose Daughter' has gotten me back to my old hobbies(reading & writing).I was about to stop reading for a few months(almost 7 so far),but this book gave mi a little hope of finding a intresting/good (other than just itself)book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though I have to agree with some reviewers one the fact that this story takes a while to get to the conflict, the end result is incredible. This is definately my favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Every little detail in the book winds into a satisfying and truly wonderful end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED Rose Daughter! It gives Beauty and the Beast a shocking new twist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another great book of McKinley's. It is much better than the normal version of Beauty and the Beast; McKinley makes fairy tales seem possible. READ THIS BOOK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say that this is the one of best stories I ever read. If you like to read fairy tales or magic or nature this is definately the book for you. I read this book in one night because of the excitment and love. As I was reading I was getting a better idea of what McKinley was talking about. The greenwitch stuff and all. I truely recommend this book as well as all of Robin McKinley's books. This book definately deserves five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Beast could never measure up to Robin McKinley's version, Rose Daughter. In this captivating tale Beauty finds true love in what she thought would be her imprisonment. The story is touching with a great perception of the heartbreak of a young girl forced from her own home, but stays true to the love that was meant to be. In my opinion it outdoes any other versions of Beauty and the Beast ever written, including the original.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robin McKinley captivated the true essence of the story 'Beauty and the Beast' in this heartwarming tale of a woman taken from her home to be in care of a horendous monster only to find true love in the most unexpected place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book sends me into a world of romance and wonder. I was enchanted by a quiet girl named Beauty, who charmed the heart of a monster. I could not put it down! I am 12, going on thirteen, but no matter how old you are, you will be entranced by this classic retelling of a wonderful story. The way she puts her words together are like magic, truly wonderful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rose Daughter, written by Robin McKinley, is a fantasy about a girl named Beauty and her family. Beauty, her father and two sisters, Lionheart and Jeweltongue, are forced out of their house and they move away to a little cottage on the edge of a small town. Here, Beauty takes care of the garden and brings back to life the magical roses that once grew there. Continuing in the original Beauty and the Beast theme, Beauty is forced to go to the Beast¿s enchanted castle, because of a rose her father took for her. There Beauty helps the Beast bring his garden of roses back to life; at the same time she falls in love with him. The ending is surprising. Robin McKinley brings out a more interesting version of Beauty and the Beast, and a beautiful love story. The beginning ties in nicely with the story; she shows many examples of foreshadowing. Anyone who loves the story of Beauty and the Beast will love this book. The beginning is a little lengthy, but once past that the story flows nicely. I definitely recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great romance story. I love Beauty and the Beast stories and this one, along with 'Beauty' (also by Robin Mckinley), is my favorite. This book can be read over and over, the symbolism is captivating. An excellent book for girls of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of Robin McKinley's books, and I like them all. This one was really good... READ IT!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lot of books claim to be magical, but this book puts it's money where it's mouth is. Robin Mckinley claimed that she was done with beauty and the beast after Beauty was published, I loved Beauty but I'm glad Mckinley was wrong because Rose Daughter puts a new, beautiful spin on the classic tale that no one would expect. <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Montikaa More than 1 year ago
Alright so I've literally never written a book review before. Well I have reason to write one now. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite story line. Maybe that's why I'm so bummed about this. Robin McKinley is fantastic, however this book was horrible. I hated it. And for me to actually go out of my way to write this is a big deal. It is more about gardening than the actual storyline. And the relationship between Beauty and the Beast is lame. Most of the time Beauty doesn't give the beast the time of the day. She's absorbed and literally obsessed with roses. I get it roses are part of the story but holy crap dude. Yet by the end of the book she loves the guy??? What's up with that? There was no relationship built. Suddenly he's just an aquaintance that happens to live in the house and next thing she is madly in love with him????....the story line in this book was poor. Really poor. Like I said. If you're obsessed about roses and talking to yourself than this book is for you. Then again if you are a die hard Beauty and the Beast fan like myself then you probably will have to get it just to see for yourself. But if it does come to this, I have one word of serious advice. LIBRARY. Don't waste money on this I love Robin McKinleys work...especially Beauty, A Retelling of Beauty and the BEast....but this is NOTHING like that.... :-(
Crystal_Kido More than 1 year ago
I loved this story and felt that it was a great re-telling of the story Beauty and the Beast. This book has many interesting elements to it and is a great book to read!
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pinkfairytale More than 1 year ago
This book, even though a great read, lacked the simplicity of Beauty ( Robin Mckinley's other book). This book was filled to the brim with detail. It was a lot longer that Beauty and I think that this was just a more complex remake of her earlier book. So even though I suggest that you read this book if you want a simpler version I suggest just reading Beauty.
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