Read The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley Online


'McKinley, who made a young novel out of 'Beauty and the Beast, ' now offers a quartet of fairy tales--two of them original and two retellings... Girls reluctantly outgrowing the romantic fairy tales now packaged for a younger audience will find these crystal-clear and melodic renditions.' - Kirkus Reviews...

Title : The Door in the Hedge
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780688003128
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Door in the Hedge Reviews

  • Kathryn
    2018-11-30 18:16

    One of the problems with books today is that the literary establishment looks down on genre fiction. If your fiction is fantasy or science fiction or mystery or romance or something else readily classifiable, the thinking goes, it is not literary and therefore inferior. And, of course, modern authors are expected to include any amount of “intimacy” in their novels. So someone like Robin McKinley, who writes fantasy and typically doesn’t get graphic, gets classified as a young adult genre author, which is pretty much the kiss of death as far as “literary critics” are concerned – no matter how good her writing actually is. (She has won a Newbery, though, which counts for a lot.) It’s frustrating.Anyway, I’m quite fond of genre fiction myself, particularly fantasy and especially retellings of fairy tales, and Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors. The Door in the Hedge is a collection of four short stories, two of which are retellings of old fairy tales (“The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and “The Princess and the Frog”) and two of which could readily be classified as fairy tales themselves* (“The Stolen Princess” and “The Hunting of the Hind”). McKinley is a master of the fairy tale; all four stories feature classic fairy tale imagery and themes. As someone who has unredacted Grimm** on her bookshelf and the whole rainbow of Andrew Lang on her Nook, I LOVE fairy tales and will never get tired of them. I definitely recommend Robin McKinley in general and The Door in the Hedge in particular to fellow fairy tale lovers.Postscript: A random observation that doesn’t fit anywhere else: The most notable element of these stories is the enhanced role of the female characters (even in “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”; it’s subtle, but it’s there). McKinley is well-known for her dislike of the wilting flower type common in older books (*cough*edgarriceburroughs*cough*), and typically writes strong female characters like Aerin and Harry (short for Angharad). Honestly, as a kid, I never noticed this emphasis – I just thought of Aerin as a hero, regardless of gender. Shouldn’t we all strive to be brave and honest and true, regardless of what dangly bits we do or do not have? And I think McKinley generally feels the same way; unlike Tamora Pierce, McKinley can present a female character without having to constantly remind you that LOOK! A GIRL IS DOING STUFF ONLY BOYS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO! LOOK HOW SUBVERSIVE I’M BEING! (Not that I don’t like Tamora Pierce, but I found the “grrl power” motif in the Lioness Quartet very annoying.)*The definition of the term “fairy tale” as a literary categorization of the broader genre of “traditional stories” isn’t entirely agreed-upon. Me, I know ‘em when I see ‘em.**If the wicked stepmother gets forced to dance in red-hot iron shoes until she falls down dead, it’s unredacted. If she’s given a stern warning and sent to her room to think about what she did, not so much.

  • Alexandra
    2018-11-14 21:15

    2/23/18 on sale for $1.99 for Kindle version.

  • Amani
    2018-11-30 18:11

    To start off, I absolutely love Robin McKinley's books. So, when I saw this, I thought that I would love it. Well, needless to say, I didn't end up loving it. Or liking it for that matter. The book, consisting of four short stories - two original, two redone classics - was awful. More than half of the description of the characters was purple prose. The characters also turned out to be a bunch of Mary Sue's and Gary Stu's. The description of everything else in the story (places and buildings, etc) was very detailed, and not in a good way. McKinley went off topic describing things so many times that I often found myself thinking 'Wait - WHAT?' There is also very little dialogue. I am greatly disappointed with Robin when it comes to this book.

  • Mary Catelli
    2018-11-21 19:55

    A collection of four stories, all in an exquisite enchanting prose style. She has the voice down pat, it can draw you in on its own.Two are retellings, one of "The Frog Princess" and the other of "The Twelve Dancing Princess," in which elements are added that shift the significance of events in the tale. I think the second is my favorite of this.There's also an original tale about the fairies -- the Fair Folk -- and the last mortal land, where the fairies take infant boys and maidens nearly old enough to marry. And the royal family of that land.And the fourth one also has some fairy tale elements, a magical hind in the woods, but I think it's the weakest of the four.

  • Clara Thompson
    2018-11-20 18:06

    The Door in the Hedge was a bit different than anything else I've read by Robin McKinley. One thing I love about her writing is that she manages to retain that classic fairy-tale style of writing, but still throw in her original style as well. The first story in the collection was perhaps my favorite, though her retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses was very good, too. Overall, it was an excellent, light read that felt like you were soaking up an old classic without having to think too much about it...Robin McKinley's books are almost always worth reading!

  • Emily
    2018-12-08 20:23

    Robin McKinley writes a mean fairy tale, whether she's reworking an old classic ("The Twelve Dancing Princesses," "The Princess and the Frog", "The Golden Hind") or writing her own ("The Stolen Princess"). I love how atmospheric these stories are: you step into each story slowly until you're fully submerged, almost ensorcelled yourself. The characters and their histories are fleshed out well beyond the scope of the original fairy tales. The soldier in "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" becomes an old campaigner who can't go back to his old life; the court in "The Princess and the Frog" has a powerful visitor who has overstayed his welcome. The women are all still as beautiful as the moon and the men are all stalwart and true, but I'd be willing to attribute that to the fairy tales, rather than to McKinley. The only consistent weakness in the stories was plot-related. It's most apparent in "The Golden Hind," (view spoiler)[when the princess visits the enchanter in order to free her brother and the other hunters. There's a moment where she walks into the chamber to see him, and then in the moment after she's free. In fact, the climax seems to be missing from many of the stories, because the magic in each of them is too mysterious for it to be clear what's going on. The two brothers dueling in "The Princess and the Frog" has the same sort of lackluster ending, and I actually paged back while reading "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" to see what the requirement was to break the enchantment. It's stated early on that the soldier only needs to speak truly of what he's seen, but that's pretty boring in practice given that the shadow court seems so powerful and nefarious. (hide spoiler)] But ultimately, the stories are so well-written that I didn't really mind.

  • Alyssa Nelson
    2018-12-03 14:21

    Robin McKinley’s strong suit is not short stories. Her books usually start off slow and take a while to warm up and become interesting, and with short stories, that sort of thing just doesn’t work out as well. While the stories themselves had interesting plots, the way McKinley writes most of them is plodding, to say the least. The first story kept losing my interest, but I know how her writing works, so I continued on, regardless of how bored I was from her initial set-up. With that said, however, the first story is by far the weakest and the stories only get stronger and more interesting as the book moves along, which I really appreciated. Well done on whoever created the chronology for this anthology, because the best stories were put last, so there was only buildup and things to look forward to rather than reading a great story at first and then getting disappointed by the next one.I’m a huge fan of fairy tales, which is part of the reason why I picked up this book. I very much enjoyed the retelling of the Princess and the Frog. While predictable, it was still an interesting twist on the original tale, and I absolutely LOVED the twelve dancing princesses retelling. It could have been several pages shorter, but it was overall quite well done.Basically, this is great if you’re a fan of fairy tales and Robin McKinley. It takes a lot to to get through the set ups of most of the stories, but they do have some sort of payoff that I felt was worthwhile. It’s not amazing by any means, nor are these particular retellings must-reads, but they’re great if you’re in need for a fairy tale fix.Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  • Susana
    2018-12-15 20:21

    This book includes four short stories:_The Stolen princess;(2,5 stars)_The Princess and the Frog (2 stars, the story was just too short!)_The Hunting of the Hind (3 stars..)_The Twelve Dancing Princesses (3,5 stars)Okay i'll admit that a three star rating for Robin Mckinley writing is absurd. She's one of the great ones able to transport me to magical worlds, with her beautiful smooth writing.I guess these short stories are told in the classical/traditional fairy tale way, and after having read so many fairy tales retellings i can't help comparing this one, with other tales i've read...namely Wildwood Dancing. A retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"/ "Princess and the Frog" fairy tales. Which i guess is unfair...For those who like "classical" fairy tales (with love at first character development, and things like that) i think you'll enjoy this quite a lot. For others who have been "spoiled" by a certain modernization that has re-written today retellings of fairy tales, this will probably rank a little lower....despite the beautiful writing.

  • Catherine
    2018-11-21 15:22

    A Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley is a small collection of short stories. There are 4 stories total, 2 new stories and 2 stories retold. My favorite was the first, The Stolen Princess; one of the new stories. She completely draws you in and before you know it, you have finished the book. I couldn't put it down. I figured that I would read a story here and there, but that didn't happen. It's the same with all her books. I finish them before I want to. I am in the process of buying up all her books so that I can read them again and again. And maybe this sounds morbid, but I am glad that she isn't dead so that she can keep writing more. I love Jane Austen but it saddens me that she died so young when she could have and would have written many more books that I am sure I would love as much as her existing ones.

  • Vorbis
    2018-12-01 15:14

    Robin McKinley is one of my favourite authors, so I have to confess to being disappointed by this one of her earlier works. I've had the experience before with her short stories of them being nice but not doing anything much for me, but usually there would be one gem in there to make me take back anything I ever said. These stories are all... fine. Just fine. The first one is a beautiful backstory of a kingdom where baby boys are stolen by the fairies, but girls left until they are seventeen in the first flush of beauty. But the fairies never end a family line - they never take an only. And the princess is the only one, so surely, surely they couldn't... Gorgeous backstory, right? But then - no confrontation, no quest, no revelation. She doesn't have to fight to get her memories back. There's no climax. It drifts to a happy ending.And that's the way with all these stories. They drift to a conclusion, but never fight for it. And I wish there had been a little bit more struggle, or cunning, to make it feel like the happy endings were earned.

  • Jane
    2018-11-21 18:01

    Oh how I adore McKinley's writing although I do have to admit that I prefer her longer stories to these shorter ones even though these stories were very good as well.The Stolen Princess was about changelings ... er, almost as the fae kind of stole a kid from a family (boys in their infancy, girls in their late teens), but didn't quite give a child in return. One of the kids who gets taken in the middle of the night is a princess as the story's name indicates. Both the premise and execution were really good BUT the story didn't quite resonate with me as I would've liked to.My least favourite story was actually the the first story in this collection - The Stolen Princess. It was good, but I have to say that the second story - The Princess and the Frog stole my heart and that story was definitely way too short. I would usually say that The Princess and the Frog is one of my least favourite fairy tales but McKinley's version was awesome and I was left wanting a story at least three times as long. The third story - The Hunting of the Hind - was also really good and I think if McKinley had written more, it could've been magnificent. But what I really liked about this story was the fact that the savior of the day was a princess no-one actually seemed to believe in.And the last story - The Twelve Dancing Princesses - is a story that I've always liked about princesses who dance away their dancing shoes in the middle of the night. McKinley's version was also really good but I think I kind of prefer the original to this one.All in all, a very pleasant reading experience.The Book Challengers blog // The Book Challengers Instagram // The Book Challengers Twitter

  • Deborah Pickstone
    2018-11-20 15:02

    Four fairy tales, two retold and two new, in beautiful prose by a master spinner of the fairytale. Overall, it doesn't quite reach the grade set by the author herself.

  • Lindsay Merrill
    2018-11-23 18:57

    This book contained four short stories. Two were retellings of classic fairy tales, and two were originals. I have two general issues with this book. First, I think the author's style of writing in this book is best described as self-indulgent. The lengthy and complex sentences were not improved by their length or complexity; this went beyond the descriptive pros style that works well in this type of storytelling. Typical lengthy paragraphs were made up of only two or three sentences. I frequently got lost in particular sentences. Consider the following example:"And the soldier, as he bought himself meals and a hayloft to sleep in by doing small jobs for the people he met-- and he found, however slow the last twenty years had made him, that his hands and back still knew how to lift and heave a pitchfork, how to back a skittish horse to a plough or wagon-- he found in him also a strange and rootless desire to leave the mountains for the first time in his life, to descend to the lowlands and go at last to the King's city at the mouth of the river, and see the castle of the man for whom he had worked, nameless, all the years of his youth." Location 1603 of the ebook While an occasional meandering sentence like this can have its place stylistically, for the majority of sentences in a book to be like this was extremely cumbersome. Second, I felt as though in the original stories, the author was too vague or too mysterious, creating plot holes. The stories seemed to jump from one major event to another so quickly that I wondered if I had missed a page filling the gaps. All things considered, I think the author's stories and retellings were creative, but could have been written in a way that more effectively told her stories.

  • Karlie
    2018-12-10 21:19

    I don't know what to say about this book. It was boring. I really struggled with it. I really like books full of short stories, I really do, but the stories in this one were WAY too short. Robin McKinley tends to wander off in la la land, and doesn't ever get to the point. I feel like she tried to cram too many events into too short a time frame. In the first story, I wasn't quite clear on what the actual problem was. I liked the characters, I thought the story had potential until princess Linadel disappeared. Then it went downhill from there. The second story was WAY too short. it lasted about ten pages. Most of it the princess is fretting about how to solve her problems, and then all of a sudden, on the last page, Poof, she magically knows a solution. The third story wandered too much. I mostly just skimmed it. It gave too much description on things that needed it and not enough description on things that did (i.e. what the golden hind actually IS). The last story, I was not impressed with at all. The twelve dancing princesses is one of my favorite fairytales, and Robin McKinley ruined it. I did not have the patience to even finish it. I was NOT impressed with this book, and this is last time I will attempt to read a Robin McKinley book just because a lot of people say its good.

  • Kat
    2018-11-21 18:24

    This is a collection of short stories that are retellings of classic faerie tales. At least, 3 of them are. I think one of them may be original, but it is stylistically so similar to a "classic" tale that the arguing is simply semantic.McKinley has long been one of my favorite authors (you should see how battered my copy of The Hero and the Crown is), and this volume simply reinforced that knowledge. I found myself so caught up in the tales that I didn't want to do anything but sit and read. It was a feeling I get only from certain authors. McKinley truly has a grasp of the magical. She didn't completely re-invent the tales (as she did with Spindle's End, Outlaws of Sherwood, and Beauty), but she added depth to the plots and characters that were missing from the originals. She somehow kept the simple beauty of the tales, though. It seems paradoxical, but it's true. If you get the chance to lay your hands on this book, snag it. The stories are fantastic for adults, but could even be read to older children (those who could sit through a chapter book). Not that the material is at all inappropriate, it's quite tame, just that the stories are longish and a smaller child would get antsy.

  • Lisa Wolf
    2018-11-24 14:01

    Robin McKinley is the queen of modern fairy tale writers, and "Door in the Hedge" is an impressive addition to her works. DITH is McKinley's second published work, after "Beauty", and contains four fairy tales -- two originals ("The Stolen Princess" and "The Hunting of the Hind"), and two traditional tales retold ("The Princess and the Frog" and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses"). As always, McKinley's use of language is flawless. Many recent retellings of fairy tales seem to bend over backwards to include modern language, as if looking for a hook for the reader. McKinley's uses her words as a paintbrush, so that the very vocabulary and sentence structure create the stories' atmosphere, as much as do her descriptions and narratives. The stories in DITH are lovely and compelling, and while the book is a quick read as a whole, the mood created lingers long after the stories end. Highly recommended for anyone new to the works of Robin McKinley, as well as anyone who loves well-written fantasy. Magical and unforgettable.

  • Nicole
    2018-11-14 19:06

    This book was good---a bit short to me, but good. Robin McKinley tells 4 stories in this book. The first(The Door in the Hedge) tells the story of Princes Linadel and her seventeenth birthday, the second being The Hunting of the Hind (i think?) where Korah's brother is bewitched by the hind and it is up to her to save him from the spell. The third one is a favorite: The Frog Princess. Princess Rana is courted- unhappily- by the Prince ALiyander, a sorcerer. She finds a frog in the pond who retrieves a necklace for her---except this frog is not ordinary--it can speak. The last tory is of The Twelve Dancing Princesses--the princesses are enspelled to dance through the soles of their shoes every night until a war-weary soldier comes to uncover their secret.

  • Ron
    2018-11-30 22:10

    Gave up a dozen pages into the second story.Unfortunately these novellas were nothing like McKinley’s Rose Daughter, which I really liked. Maybe she learned her craft on them. Maybe ... who knows?Too much telling, too little empathy. Not so much bad as not engaging.Don't waste your time.

  • Anna
    2018-12-03 18:57

    beautiful versions of at least 3 well-known stories along with a new one“But the world turns, and even legends change; and somewhere there is a border, and sometime, perhaps, someone will decide to cross it, however well guarded its thorns may be.”― Robin McKinley, The Door in the Hedge

  • Suzanne
    2018-12-03 18:54

    This was a nice set of fairy tales, told in a classic style. I enjoyed it!

  • Sheryl
    2018-12-02 17:06

    If you enjoy reading fairy tale type books you will probably enjoy this. It was actually a series of 3 unrelated stories. I warmed up to them as I went along.

  • Anastasia
    2018-11-24 19:57

    I did not know that this was several separate retellings of fairy tales.

  • Marija
    2018-11-22 16:12

    This fairytale collection contains four stories, two original (The Stolen Princess and The Hunting of the Hind) and two retellings (The Princess and the Frog and The Twelve Dancing Princesses). I liked them all to a certain degree, but my favorite happened to be McKinley’s version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. When I was younger, I was never really crazy about that fairytale, but the way this story was crafted, which enabled the reader to see the story from the soldier’s point of view, helped me change my opinion and learn to love it. Definitely well done.As for The Princess and the Frog and The Hunting of the Hind, though interesting, they were far too short and ended rather abruptly. For instance in The Princess and the Frog, Prince Aliyander’s character is never fully developed, and at story’s end, the reader’s left hanging with several questions. At first, Aliyander seems like a Uriah Heep type from David Copperfield, but then his deceptions are revealed to have a deeper and darker intent grounded in sorcery. Yet the reader’s left wondering from where did he learn his talents? Who taught him? And how was the prince captured and turned? None of this is really explained. And the final confrontation at the end is somewhat lacking in its brevity.The same can be said for The Hunting of the Hind. The meeting with the wizard is barely a paragraph. The reader never sees him; the description merely gives a sense of his presence. Would have preferred to read some interaction and conflict between him and the princess. As it stands, the story’s OK, but could have been better if it was longer.The Stolen Princess has a rather interesting utopian concept: a harmonious and ideal joining of two vastly different worlds. I almost wish, though, that McKinley turned it into a full novel, which would have allowed her more room to explore and expand on those themes. It does make a good story, but it could have been crafted into a fine novel. Overall the stories are worth the read, but with the exception of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, I don’t feel they’re a good example of the fine work McKinley’s capable of.

  • puppitypup
    2018-11-19 20:01

    Fairytale Collection MagicalThis is a collection of four short stories, I'll be updating my review as I finish each one.The Stolen Princess Sheer Perfection!Robin McKinley at her best, that's the only way to describe this one. Her writing is so lyrical, so full of whimsy. I felt like I was a child, sitting at the knee of a great storyteller.My favorite thing about this one is Galvin, the stolen princess' father. His love for the queen is so tender, so caring, both through the years of yearning for a child, and after, when their precious child was stolen. Even while the princess was growing up, he loved his wife above all. How rare in Fairytales to find an intact family with loving parents. This has to be one my favorite fairytales of all time.The Princess and the Frog Too short!This is a very short story, and the only weak one in the collection. Not quite as lyrical and too easily resolved.The Hunting of the Hind Sacrificial LoveBeautifully written, but the strength here lies in the characters. The Princess and her brother are kind, loving and courageous. And there is another set of siblings who are just as good and honorable. I really like how the princess saves the day in this one.The Twelve Dancing Princesses Even better than the first!Again, the writing is exquisite, but what really makes this story is the hero. I wish this was a full-length novel, because this hero really got a hold of my heartstrings. The Twelve Dancing Princesses has always been my favorite fairytale, ever since I first heard it as a child, which means I am rather picky about it. McKinley's take on it is unique, and I loved it!There are no bad words and no foul language in this book. I believe it would be suited to age 10 and up. The AR Bookfinder has it categorized as Middle Grade, but the stories are complex and engaging, well suited to adults as well.

  • Martha
    2018-12-15 16:54

    4.5 starsWhen I picked up this book, I had no idea that it was actually made up of four short stories! I really liked this though. The Lost Princess was the first story and I found that the author's lyrical language matched the mood of a fairy story wonderfully. The descriptions were enchanting. Perhaps sometimes they were too descriptive; I found myself tuning out, or reading without understanding, though this was only rare. I think that I actually liked the writing of this tale more than the actual plot itself. It was a fairly simplistic and obvious plot – the queen's sister is taken by fairies and then, years later, the queen's daughter finds herself taken also. But it was so sweetly told that I found myself getting lost in it. The characters of the king and queen, Gilvan and Alora, I loved the most. The next story, named The Princess and the Frog, was a retelling of the tale – you've guessed it – The Princess and the Frog! I absolutely love this tale, so was excited to read this! I think I have a soft spot for talking animals – especially talking frogs! I loved how well-spoken the frog was, how human in speech. I felt as though I could read him considering everything he spoke. This was a very short story, but I loved the dark threat Aliyander presented; that was a great twist to the tale. I think this was my favourite out of the four. The third story was also a good read, but it was the fourth story I was more excited to read, as I've grown to love retellings of the Twelve Dancing Princesses tale this past year. This story didn't disappoint and I loved the ending!This book read like an ancient fairytale. I could imagine reading it to someone younger as a bedtime story and I think they would love it. :)

  • Laina
    2018-12-03 21:17

    This is probably one of my new favorite Robin McKinley books ever. The only thing I can think to describe it as is beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous as a collection.The first story (The Stolen Princess) was unique and classic with faeries and magic. Robin McKinley tells stories with such a wonderful quality that I couldn't but be entranced and in love with the essence of the story itself. The characters were simple, as was the setting and nothing distracted from the loveliness of the story.The second story (The Princess and the Frog) made me smile. I've always wanted to rewrite this one myself, and I loved the way McKinley did it. Yet, this usually light-hearted story about a somewhat selfish princess (you have to admit it) suddenly turned into a dark and penetrating story that left me squirming even through my smiles. The villain-- in the 20 pages that I saw him-- was truly frightening, and once again I loved the simpleness and tradition of this story also.The third story (The Hunting of the Hind) could've very well have been my favorite. This one had the particularly strong female character that I always admire, and this one spoke deeply of the power of love (as cheesey as that sounds). It was saddening and powerful, but of course happy at the end. :)The forth story (The Twelve Dancing Princesses) was probably the most entrancing and mysterious for me. This one my emotions were confused along with the main characters (the old soldier), and I almost fell in love with that cursed world the Princesses were condemned to. I loved the different perspective this story was told from.Overall, this book was truly remarkable. If you're a fan of Robin McKinley or even just beautiful fairy tales that we don't see enough today, read this book!

  • Julie
    2018-11-24 17:23

    This is a collection of four different stories. They include creative and vivid retellings of familiar fairy tales, as well as unique new stories with familiar faery motifs(trending slightly towards modern fantasy faery). According to the summary 2 of the stories are retellings and 2 are new, but they are so well-written and convincingly told that it would be difficult to differentiate the established stories from the new ones if I hadn't already been familiar with them. The retellings are enriched with masterfully integrated depth and detail, while the original stories are authentically crafted tales that bring unique freshness and excitement while remaining true to the genre. ( Can a modern author really create an new but authentic story true to a genre full of lore that's been established for hundreds of years? I'm not qualified for scholarly analysis of the situation, but in terms of all of these tales being engaging, satisfying reads as well as delivering that elusive and tantalizing dose of "otherness": different worlds and possibilities that are both familiar and strange, fantastic but nevertheless somehow plausible, that that we expect from good fantasy and lore alike; I would have to say yes.)* *That last was a bizarre run-on sentence and I have no idea whether my punctuation turned out. Luckily I don't really expect anyone to read it that won't forgive me flights of verbiage unsupported by proper structure. Hi!

  • Josephine
    2018-11-21 14:02

    This is a compilation of 4 short stories, some well known fairy tales, others not.Robin McKinley is a most talented writer. Her words glide gracefully across the page and flow like a long and lovely poem. By the time you get to the end of the story you are almost in tears at the beauty of it all. You have this longing dazed look on your face. And then you shake yourself and scratch your head and say, "what? I don't get it." And you wonder if you missed something or if she is just like Lemony Snickett, purposefully leaving out important details to drive you crazy. But wait! There is an epilogue. This should clear things up. No. It just created even more questions. By the end of the first story in this book I felt like I had just experienced a fuzzy dream. The rest of the stories had a little more detail but are just so silly. They all gaze into each others eyes understandingly without having to say a word. They just know they are in love even though they have never met, because the looks they give each other speak louder than dialogue. Dialogue is what is really missing in this book (and in others of her books I might add). There is hardly any. There is also a heavy seriousness throughout the stories that is almost funny if it wasn't so tiresome and depressing. It feels like a dramatic soap opera, but not.

  • Katherine Cowley
    2018-11-23 20:05

    This collection of four fairy tales from Robin McKinley (a retelling of the princess and the frog and of the 12 dancing princesses, along with two new fairy tales) is absolutely delightful, weaving together magic, romance, and strong female characters. McKinley truly is a master of fantasy, and I was once again enraptured by her storytelling.My favorite piece in the collection was The Princess and the Frog, which is more of a short story, while some of the other pieces are truly novella length. I like how the princess and the frog must work together to restore order to the world, and how she never actually kisses the frog. (Don't worry--there's still a romance.)

  • Kaethe
    2018-11-29 19:22

    The stories are good, but I think McKinley was channeling Hans Christian Andersen. These are the most melancholy fairy tales imaginable. Oh, the heroines find instant, deep, and perfect love with their princes, but the sadness of parents losing children is all through this. Everyone is serious, and earnest, and staunch, and truly, I expected horrible things to happen to them, even in the stories I knew.Library copy.