McKinley has a very beautiful writing style. Even though “Beauty” is longer than “the Blue Sword” or the Hero and the Crown, it doesn’t feel like it. Indeed, Beauty feels quite short considering that there aren’t any adventuring or swashbuckling in it, just a love story.

As far as I can tell, “Beauty” follows the fairy tale closely. I’m tempted to say that who-ever wrote the screenplay for the Disney version, must have read this book a couple of time for the self-moving plates and teapots. But I haven’t actually read any earlier versions of the tale, so I can’t really say.

Even though the main character Beauty is said to be only 17, her narrator-self seems rather more mature. Of course, she is telling the story afterwards so the feel can be intentional. The only thing that really seemed teenaged about her was the way she considered herself to be not-attractive.

The MC Beauty is the youngest of three daughters and she considers herself to be plain compared to her beautiful sisters. Even her name starts out as ironic. She has a huge war-horse Greatheart whom she has taken care of since he was a foal. When her merchant father loses him fortune and has to move into the countryside, Beauty can keep her beloved horse.

war-horse Greatheart whom she has The book is really a girl (and her horse)-meets-a-boy story just like the tale. On the face of it, it’s a beautiful love story. However, there are some other things below the surface.

The age difference between the girl and the man creeped me. He was 200 and she 17? The fact the at the end of the book she notices that she has GROWN during the time she spent in the palace, made it all the more creepier for me. Dude! She’s still a growing girl! Ewww.

The whole “suddenly I’m tall and beautiful” thing? Sigh. Some of us are short and plain, and even we would like to feel like the heroine just once. This was a huge letdown even though I suspected it at the start. For a while I sort of hoped that it might be just “clothes make a girl beautiful” thing but of course not.

Separating a girl from everyone else to make her love you? That sounds more like Stockholm syndrome to me and a justification for a kidnapping. it at the start. Do like the s that tss, it’ and

But all of those came to mind later. I rather enjoyed the book while I read it.

7/10