Rose Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Unlike McKinley’s previous book, Beauty, Rose Daughter takes a more fairy-tale turn. Characters are named after their strengths, like Jeweltongue. The story is told in thick, yet beautiful language of any familiar fairy tale.
Beauty accompanies her family after their disgrace to a forgotten cottage in a place that magic avoid. She creates her own magic when she gets roses to grow where only sorcerers or green witches could before. Life become idyllic, until the day her father steals a rose from a beast.
In this version, Beauty is more beautiful inside rather than out. In the Beast’s castle she becomes a living allegory of freedom, slowly restoring life to a beast by tending roses, animals and the whims of the enchanted castle. Meanwhile her sisters find a richer life than the one they had. The story is about finding love where you are and using it to create your own fairy tale ending. The tale is uplifting, full of detailed imagery and mysterious magic. Over time McKinley’s tales have taken on a fuller sense of themselves, providing a more complete picture than the snapshots of the past.