Wednesday, November 26, 2008

swept away...

I've been wanting to do a post on these stories for quite a while now, basically ever since I started devouring Robin McKinley's books about a month ago. The richness of her writing has made her very high on my favorite authors list, probably in a miraculous second as far as live authors go. So far I have read six of her books, Sunshine, Deerskin, Chalice, Beauty, Spindles End, and Outlaws of Sherwood.

Chalice is the first book of hers that I read and it is definitely what got me hooked. A young woman, Marisol, who is known for her fine bees and honey, is chosen to be the Chalice, or helper, to the new Master. However, the land which they will govern is broken from the unexpected death of the previous Master and his Chalice. But the old Master left no Heir so Marisol must help the land and the people except his brother who was given over to the priests of fire as Master. This book is a beautiful escape, I wish it had never ended.

Sunshine is her only modern day book that I've read, and when I first realized it took place now, I wasn't expecting to much, because I've found that a lot of fantasy authors can't write realistic stories so well and vice-versa for contemporary authors. I was wrong though, Sunshine did not disappoint me in the least. What made me continue reading this book to find out it was so good was the fact that it was a vampire story. With all of the Twilight craze going on and me not being into it at all, I figured I would find my own thrilling vampire story to read on Halloween. (yes, I did read it on Halloween, I finished it that weekend too) Anyway, I'm not going to say much about this book except for that its amazing, and it made me wish vampires were real (though, I kind of doubt that was the goal of the book) and bake cinnamon rolls.

Spindle's End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and I have to say it Robin McKinley did a good job of it. There were a few thing in it that bothered me a tiny bit, but really they were nothing. The plot is full of fun twists and romance that is very satisfying. The end got a bit crazy, and I had to re-read certain parts to make sure I understood what was going on, but I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. I was sad to have it end.

The Outlaws of Sherwood is the one I've read the most recently, and I loved it all. The end was the only thing that disappointed me, but I would still say its worth reading. It is rightly named since it truly is about all of the outlaws of Sherwood, there are many plots intertwined and at least three romances as well. It changes point of view many times, fallowing Robin for a while then switching to Merian and touching Cecil, Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck as well. There are surprising turns and twists through out the book and mainly at the end. Enjoyable, but my least favorite so far.

Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and wow, it is amazing. I remember the tale in our copy of A Children's Book of Virtues and reading it over and over when I was probably around the age of seven. This version I will certainly read over and over for many years to come. It doesn't disappoint in any way except for the fact that it ends. There is a sequel, however, that I have yet to read, so there for it truly is without flaw, since it does not end. smile. Heart touching and lovely in every way, you must read this book.

Deerskin is a re-telling of the not well known story, Donkeyskin. Lissar is the neglected daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world and the most handsome king of one of the seven kingdoms. When her mother dies, she finally comes into light, after being forgotten by all in the castle, when she is given a royal gift of a hound called Ash. Then, a horror resulting in pain strikes her and she flees for her life, forgetting her previous life. This is an amazing story of healing and true love, don't expect a child's story, it goes way beyond that. This is my favorite of McKinley's books.

I'm not sure when I'll be back, but have a happy Thanks Giving!

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