Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

A retelling of Sleeping Beauty, filled with magic and adventure.

I tried to read Spindle’s End when it first came out, and I gave up after about 50 pages. This time, I made it to the end, but it still left me cold. Robin McKinley’s writing is absolutely gorgeous, and I applaud the plot she devised for her retelling, but I never really connected with the story. I would definitely read another of her books, though, because I did enjoy Beauty. Any recommendations?

6 thoughts on “Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley”

  1. I found her Deerskin riveting but disturbing, quite mystical and tragic. Very much an exploration of survivors and being exploited – and finding peace, confronting evil.

    Sunshine, now was fun. Who can’t delight in a lovestruck, reluctant vampire?

    I adored Beauty. One of the first McKinley books I read was The Hero and The Crown. And that one still draws me back to enjoy again, from time to time. The Blue Sword was good, but I haven’t reread that one nearly as often and Beauty or The Hero and The Crown.

    Not a retelling of a traditional story, Mercedes Lackey’s trilogy that starts with Arrows of the Queen (with Arrow’s Flight and Arrow’s Fall) is a very good coming of age story; I also like her By the Sword.


  2. I had the same reaction as you did to Spindle’s End. Like Brad says, Deerskin is wonderful but disturbing. I think Sunshine is her best since Beauty, though there are a lot of things left unanswered at the end. She also has a book of short stories, A Door in the Hedge (I think?) that I liked a lot.

  3. I read Rose Daughter this summer looking for great fantasy books for my students. You might want to try it. The chapters are well developed, but the ending is a bit too tidily wrapped up for the depth she began the story with.

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