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Robin McKinley

Fairy Tales Retold

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1lefty33
Oct 16, 2007, 2:16pm Top

She has quite a few retold fairy tales. Are you all fans of her books?

I'm reading Spindle's End (Sleeping Beauty) now and Beauty (Beauty and the Beast) is in line but I know she has some other retellings too.

2AngelaB86
Oct 16, 2007, 3:22pm Top

The only one of her books I've read is Beauty, and that was several years ago. I do remember liking it very much. I have the rest of her books on my Amazon wishlist.

3Meijhen
Oct 16, 2007, 3:34pm Top

Beauty , Spindle's End, Rose Daughter, Deerskin, A Knot in the Grain, and A Door in the Hedge are all excellent. The last two are short story or novelette collections.

Also her other books are great.

4lefty33
Nov 12, 2007, 8:14am Top

I've read Sunshine too and I enjoyed it. I actually liked it more than Spindle's End. I loved the beginning and the end of Spindle, but the middle seemed longer than it needed to be.

5onceinalifetime First Message
Jan 1, 2008, 8:12pm Top

Beauty is one of my favorite books ever! I was a little disappointed with the rest of her stuff, but htat one was so good, she is still on my favorite writers list!

6aviddiva
Jan 3, 2008, 12:20am Top

I've enjoyed most of her books, though I didn't care for The Outlaws of Sherwood. Of her fairy tale books, I especially liked Deerskin and Beauty. Sunshine is great, but not a fairy tale.

7oxymoron_clause
Jan 3, 2008, 12:23pm Top

I tried reading "Rose Daughter" but it was so long and so meticulously detailed that I felt as though I'd spent the entire book reading more about the heroine's surroundings than the actual story! But I did like Beauty a lot....except for how she magically turns beautiful at the end. That bothered me.

8lefty33
Jun 11, 2008, 11:42pm Top

I just finished Beauty and I didn't feel like she magically turned beautiful -- she just grew up a bit and became the woman she was always going to become. Her sisters were gorgeous, it makes more sense that Beauty grew into a beautiful woman than that she was always plain. I just didn't see it as a magical transformation, but a gradual one that no one noticed until later (no mirrors, no one but Beast seeing Beauty until later in the story).

Beauty is my favorite I've read of McKinley's so far. It was just wonderful.

9Friday74
Jun 12, 2008, 7:59am Top

I really enjoy curling up with any of her books for a re-read when I just want to relax and not start anything new yet - they're classical and purely enjoyable to read. In regards to (Beauty) I have to agree I had the same feeling as lefty33 - I felt that she "grew into" her beauty as she grew up.

10AlienEeeter
Jun 12, 2008, 11:09pm Top

I read Beauty for the first time when I was in the 7th grade (13 years ago). I've gone through 3 copies and have more or less memorized it in that time. It's my favorite of all my childhood books. (I dont think there was anything magical about her transformation either)

Never been thrilled with Outlaws of Sherwood, but I've read Spindles End and Rose Daughter at least twice, and while I've only read Deerskin once, I've also only owned the book for a few months. I know I'll read it again.

Her retellings are my absolute favorites of all the retellings I've ever read. I also like that she was willing to go back to Beauty and the Beast twenty years later and see it with different eyes and be able to write it again.

11relinquishedworm
Jun 16, 2008, 10:39am Top

I haven't read all of McKinley's books, only 3 actually, but I like how in each one her writing style or "voice" is different. I think this is why I like her so much. And why I like each of her stories in a different way.

I liked Sunshine for the character and how introspective it was. I love being able to delve into someone's mind, fictional or otherwise.

I loved Beauty because she followed the traditional folk-tale style, while still managing to keep her own voice.

I'll admit I wasn't overly fond of Sherwood, but merely because Robin Hood never really interested me past the Disney movie, but it was so her.

12katrinasreads
Jan 1, 2009, 5:58pm Top

McKinley has taken the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast and reworked it into her own tale, presenting it to a new audience. I was really worried that this would be a modern take on the fairy tale, in a modern world, but I had nothing to worry about this book is set far enough back in history to contain the magic of a fairytale.

Beauty (an ungainly teenager) is removed from a life of poverty and a loving family when her father one day picks her a rose from the Beasts castle. She has to choose to live with the beast or give her father's life. Like any dutiful daughter it is her freedom which she chooses to forsake.

McKinley's depiction of the Beast's castle is mesmerising, I felt like I was back as a kid again, marvelling at Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Cinderella (can't ever recall having seen Beauty and the Beast - think Disney rereleased it when I was a teen and to cool to be watching stuff like that :rolleyes:
The dishes fill themselves, she is dressed and pampered by invisible servants, and the ground of the castle change daily so she is never bored. She also has our fantasy library, more books than you could ever read, and it contains books not yet published, a view of the future she will not live to see.

Yes we all know how this story has to end, and McKinley sticks very close to the story, yet I was still wishing she would go back to him quickly before he faded away.

This may be kids fiction but definately is a must for anyone who loved/loves a happy ending and a fantasy world. Great for 9 year olds but also those of us who wish to escape to a magical world for a few hours. I'll definately be checking out her other books.

13marjorie823
Mar 4, 2010, 11:08pm Top

I am so happy to have found fellow McKinley aficionados! And I, too, wore out Beauty. Also loved The Blue Sword. I think those two were my favorites. Close behind are Hero and the Crown and Rose Daughter and Spindle's End. I just love that she turns typical fairytales into stories about humans and all their messiness...but with a happy ending, of course.

14guyalice
Mar 5, 2010, 8:53pm Top

Spindle's End is one of the few books that I love even if I really didn't like the last 1/10th of the novel. It was the beautiful journey getting there that was so wonderful

15SusieBookworm
Apr 15, 2010, 6:29pm Top

I loved The Blue Sword when I first read it, but I can't remember most of the plot. Same with The Hero and the Crown. Rose Daughter was pretty good, too.

16donnao
May 6, 2011, 7:40pm Top

I love almost everything by Mckinley. I think Sunshine (not a fairy-tale remake) is far better than the Twilight series. This is what a modern take on a vampire story should be.

17LaRay
Jun 17, 2011, 8:31pm Top

I would like a sequel to Sunshine. I feel like there is so much more story there to discover, but alas I am not a talented author and I don't believe she currently has plans to continue it, but I will hold out some hope. Spindles End was one of the first books I remember reading by her, it isn't one of my favorites, but it's still a good read. I prefer two Beauty and the Beast retelling, tho' I am partial as that is one of my favorite fairytales anyway. (non-passive heroine, no waiting to be rescued!) I really like Chalis tho' it isn't a retelling of any fairytale I've ever heard.

Does any one know if she has done a Snow White retelling?

18MyriadBooks
Jun 17, 2011, 9:05pm Top

There was word on McKinley's blog a few years ago about another novel set in the Sunshine world (not a sequel; all new characters). My understanding is that it's the novel she intends to work on once she finished her Pegasus duology.

McKinley hasn't written a Snow White novel, and I don't remember any Snow White short stories of hers, either.

19Severn
Sep 20, 2011, 11:51pm Top

Just recently discovered her myself...love her works so far.

20urania1
Oct 3, 2011, 11:14pm Top

I have loved everything that McKinley has written except for Pegasus and the short story collections she has co-authored with her husband Peter Dickinson. Of her recent work, I really enjoyed Chalice.

21GirlMisanthrope
Oct 4, 2011, 12:29am Top

I have read several of her books, but Sunshine stands head and shoulders above them all. It's one of my favorite books of all time. I found a 1st edition, signed, at a used book store and just about squealed. Excellent dystopian view of a future with vampires. And they ain't sparkly.

22R.H.Russell
Oct 4, 2011, 3:11pm Top

I loved Beauty, and I didn't see the female lead as magically becoming beautiful; I thought she finally realized that she was beautiful. I really liked that aspect of the story, because how many young girls think they are ugly or just plain, when they really aren't? True, some girls go through an awkward stage and become more attractive as they mature, but I think more often they never really were unattractive. They just feel like they're ugly and carry themselves as though they are.

23urania1
Oct 4, 2011, 3:39pm Top

I liked Beauty, but Rose Daughter is my favorite of McKinley's two adaptations of Beauty and the Beast.

24thelorelei
Oct 5, 2011, 10:57pm Top

Yeah, Robin has said on her website that she didn't intend it to read as though Beauty had magically become beautiful. She simple had became ok with herself, and was able to see herself for what she was.

Group: Fairy Tales Retold

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