Beauty by Nancy Butcher

() I usually have a distaste for the unrealistic writings of science fiction and fantasy novels. However, this one is truly original with some of the ideas, even though the concept of a monarchy ruling system (royalty: the king & queen package) is still prevalent. Also, even though the story is about traditional topic in fantasy, beauty, it is still a story of interest. The main girl is the princess, daughter to the queen – and no surprise, is also the fairest of all the land. The princess soon realizes the hatred her mother has for the princess’ growing beauty and thus makes herself ugly by gorging on pastries and rubbing oils on her face to cause acne. Soon though, she is sent away to a ‘special’ school with other girls her age. Only here does it become clear to her the true evil that is enveloped within her mother.
On the feminist perspective of things, I do not like how women are again given value in this book solely by their beauty. This is too common, not unusual at all – and thus an annoying aspect to the plot line. (Not to mention we are still working against this stereotype in our culture, and indulgent media forms such as this are not helping!) But it’s a nice fairy-tale-gone-wrong read, nonetheless.

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