A retelling of Snow White, Beauty is a young adult fantasy novel by Nancy Butcher.
Queen Veda of Ran does not believe in growing old gracefully. In fact, she will shun anything that makes her look or feel less than the fairest in the land—including her daughter, Ana.
Ana has both beauty and intelligence, and realizes the way to remain close to her beloved mother is to make herself ugly. So she does—eating all the wrong foods, not bathing, growing her hair out in tangles.
And it works. Veda loves her and Ana is content with it, even if she sometimes wonders what being beautiful is like.
But the Queen's Beauty Consultant informs Her Majesty that Ana may be beautiful yet. Ana is sent away to the academy of Ran to study with beautiful girls, including Ana's best friend. But if everyone else there is beautiful, why was she sent there?
Despite herself, Ana learns how to be beautiful again... and is unaware that she and the others are walking into a trap.
This book contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Queen Veda despises beautiful young women, which remind her of her own fading looks and threaten her title as Fairest of Them All. When her daughter Princess Ana begins to mature into her own looks, Veda begins to treat her cruelly. Ana, desperate to regain her mother's love, resorts to making herself as sickly and unappealing as possible.
- Dragon-in-Chief: The Beauty Consultant supplies the Queen with information and ideas, which otherwise she'd be clueless about.
- Driven by Envy: Veda is intensely jealous of anything/anyone beautiful.
- Living Mood Ring: The Beauty Consultant's eyes change color depending on his mood.
- Looks Worth Killing For: Queen Veda is willing to kill off any woman who threatens her title as Fairest of Them All, even her own daughter.
- My Beloved Smother: Veda, when not wary of Ana, is overly protective and loving.
- One-Word Title: Beauty.
- Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: Princess Ana is resolved to make herself as unappealing as possible in order to please her mother Queen Veda. Ana won't wash or brush her hair, she dresses in servant's clothes, and she only eats pastries and moldy cheese to give herself a sickly, blemished complexion.