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Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin…

Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits (edition 2004)

by Robin McKinley, Peter Dickinson

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7801917,912 (3.71)45
Title:Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits
Authors:Robin McKinley
Other authors:Peter Dickinson
Info:Puffin (2004), Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Water by Robin McKinley

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This is a collection of short stories, some by Dickinson and some by McKinley, all involving water spirits in one form or another. One of McKinley's is another Damar story (The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown). Several of them, by both writers, involved merpeople in what's at least somewhat a shared world. Overall, I find McKinley's characters more likable and enjoyable to spend time with, but all the stories are entertaining.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Aside from the occasional Grimm fairytale, I don't usually read anthologies, but anything with mermaids and other water-related myths will grab my attention. For short stories, they are a bit on the long side (there's only seven), but even so, I thoroughly enjoyed them. While I can't pick out a favorite, the "Sea Serpent" didn't grip me as much as the others had. I'm definitely going to check out other works by these two authors and will start paying attention to anthologies more often. ( )
  PikakeFlor | Jul 6, 2017 |
3.5 stars? I do appreciate the talents of both these writers and have enjoyed other workds by them, and will seek out more. But for some reason this wasn't as wonderful as I wanted it to be. I have to admit that I kept having to check as I was reading to see which author wrote which story.

Ok, my only guess about why I, personally, didn't rate it higher is that I thought each story was a little too long. I'm more comfortable with stories that are highlighting an idea or an episode. These stories actually each built a world and gave us most of a character's life story. Each could have been easily developed into a full-lenght novel. So, kudos to the authors for making them so rich and yet so tight and concise, and lovely.

If you see the different editions, the all blue cover is stunning, but makes it look (imo) like a novel for adults. The cover with the orange banner across the top and the image of the merman (which is the one I have) is more fitting, I think, because it is a YA book. But it can also be read by any good reader above age 8 or so - the 'yuck factor' of mature issues is very low.

Btw, the descriptions of some editions of this book claim seven stories. The pb I read has six stories. I have attached this review to the ISBN of the book I have, but if you request my book from swap you will get six stories, trade pb, merman cover (just to be clear). ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A collection of short stories, half by Peter Dickinson (Mermaid Song, Sea Serpent, Kraken) and half by Robin McKinley (The Sea-King's Son, Water Horse, A Pool in the Desert). The Dickinson stories were imaginative but a bit dull (especially Sea Serpent), but I thought the McKinley stories were almost transcendentally beautiful and powerful. Water Horse (a young girl is the last thing standing between her island and destruction, and she is but a disobedient apprentice) and A Pool in the Desert (a woman has two lives, one in our world and one in a magical desert kingdom) were my favorites of the collection. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
A fantasy collection based on the theme of sea magic, from husband & wife Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley.
I’d say, as far as reading level, this book is probably aimed at young teens, but like classic fairytales, the stories are such as can be enjoyed by all… Young women striving against repressive environments is a recurring theme – hardly a new motif, but it’s generally done effectively. The ending of the last story made me cry!

Mermaid Song – PD
A young girl in a strict, Puritan-type community is able to pay back a generations-old secret debt – and also escape her abusive home life.

The Sea-King’s Son – RM
A young woman narrowly avoids marrying a man who does not love her – and finds a more magical future; in the process eliminating a curse that has lain on her village for years.

Sea Serpent – PD
A fantasy of the end of the times of the chthonic goddess, and her replacement by the gods of men, and their courage and ingenuity. A surprisingly non-strident voice is used to describe the men’s theft of the standing stones of the goddess, and their heroic battle against the priestess’ sea serpent.

Water Horse – RM
A young and unappreciated woman travels from her village to apprentice as a Guardian – one of the magicians who guards their island against the encroachment of the waves. Although unprepared and untried, her unconventional perspective may save her people.

Kraken – PD
A pair of illicit lovers jumps into the sea as a last resort… a young mermaid princess tries to save them, but the unknown kraken of the depths may take more than just the bodies of the drowned lovers…

A Pool in the Desert – RM
Set in the world of Damar (The Blue Sword, The Hero & the Crown). A young woman in a restrictive family environment has been having vivid dreams of a vibrant desert land… it seems real, but when she looks up names and places on the Internet and in the encyclopedia, the nomenclature is out of long-ago legend and myth. Will she have to give up on her dreams and settle for obeying her father and keeping the accounts for his dreary shop? ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robin McKinleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dickinson, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Frangie, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hyman, Trina SchartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Anne Waters
First words
Her name was Pitiable Nasmith. [from "Mermaid song"]
There was a young woman named Jenny who was the only child of her parents. [from "The sea-King's son"]
"I am Mel." [from "Sea serpent"]
When the Guardian of Western Mouth chose Tamia for her apprentice, no one was more surprised than Tamia herself. ["Water Horse"]
They wore traveller's clothes, tight-laced against the sea wind, she all in grey, he in worn brown leather. ["Kraken"]
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Book description
This short story collection contains:

  • "Mermaid Song" by Peter Dickinson
  • "The Sea-King's Son" by Robin McKinley
  • "Sea Serpent" by Peter Dickinson
  • "Water Horse" by Robin McKinley
  • "Kraken" by Peter Dickinson
  • "A Pool in the Desert" by Robin McKinley
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142402443, Paperback)

What magical beings inhabit earth?s waters? Some are as almost-familiar as the mer- people; some as strange as the thing glimpsed only as a golden eye in a pool at the edge of Damar?s Great Desert Kalarsham, where the mad god Geljdreth rules; or as majestic as the unknowable, immense Kraken, dark beyond the darkness of the deepest ocean, who will one day rise and rule the world. These six tales from the remarkable storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson transform the simple element of water into something very powerful indeed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

These seven tales from the remarkable storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson transform the simple element of water into something very powerful indeed.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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