Author: Sheri S. Tepper
Genre: Historical / Fantasy
Publisher: Bantam, 1992
Series: Stand Alone
"No forest, no prairie, no birds, no fish. It all went to Fidipur."
Synopsis: With the critically acclaimed novels The Gate To Women's Country, Raising The Stones, and the Hugo-nominated Grass, Sheri Tepper has established herself as one of the major science fiction writers of our time.
In Beauty, she broadens her territory even further, with a novel that evokes all the richness of fairy tale and fable. Drawing on the wellspring of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," Beauty is a moving novel of love and loss, hope and despair, magic and nature. Set against a backdrop both enchanted and frightening, the story begins with a wicked aunt's curse that will afflict a young woman named Beauty on her sixteenth birthday. Though Beauty is able to sidestep tragedy, she soon finds herself embarked on an adventure of vast consequences. For it becomes clear that the enchanted places of this fantastic world--a place not unlike our own--are in danger and must be saved before it is too late.
Review: This book has it all; time travel, fairies, magic, love and even horror. It combines fairy tales and reality to create a magical past and a horrible future for the world. The main character travels between 1347 and 2089 with a few side trips in between. It's fantasy, romance, science fiction and portions of it are dystopian....and some of it is almost too terrible to read. It isn't an easy combination to pull off, all these very separate story types in one novel. This author manages it, but I found myself only liking certain portions of it and not others. There were just too many themes, although the main one is that we are ruining our world and the beauty of nature.
I'm not overly fond of novels that grind an ax quite so loudly as this one did. I agree with her ideals. I just don't agree with her beating the readers over the head with them, not to this degree and not in fictional literature. I was determined to finish because I fully expected "and they lived happily ever after" at the end, but it wasn't that way at all. I'm giving extra points for originality though. There was certainly plenty of that and it's always refreshing to find.
Rating: 5 / 10