Beauty has always been embarrassed by her nickname - she is plain and awkward compared to her two elder sisters, Hope and Grace. But what she lacks in beauty she can perhaps make up for in courage. hen their merchant father returns from a failed business trip to the ciy where they once lived, he tells his daughters a strange tale- how on his way home he lost himself in a winter storm, and stumbled out of it into the summer garden of a magical castle. Innocently he picks a rose, and a fearsome Beast roars at him that his life is forfeit ... unless one of his daughters will take his place. e will not hear of it when Beauty declares that she will return to the castle in his stead, but she is determined to go. 'He cannot be so bad if he loves roses so much', she says. 'Cannot a Beast be tamed?'
Robin McKinley is an American writer and has won many awards n the US, including the Newbery Medal for THE HERO AND THE CROWN and a Newbery Honor for THE BLUE SWORD. She now lives in Hampshire with her husband, author Peter Dickinson, three whippets, five hundred rose bushes and a 1965 cream-coloured MGB convertible.