This is an exceptional retelling of "The Sleeping Beauty" which takes the reader into a magical world filled with modern characters, encountering adventure, love and loss. Rosie is very, very ordinary. No-one, not even an extremely powerful and evil fairy who is out for the princess' blood, would give Rosie a second glance. But then, even Rosie ...
This is an exceptional retelling of "The Sleeping Beauty" which takes the reader into a magical world filled with modern characters, encountering adventure, love and loss. Rosie is very, very ordinary. No-one, not even an extremely powerful and evil fairy who is out for the princess' blood, would give Rosie a second glance. But then, even Rosie doesn't know the secret of her own birth...and she cannot be hidden forever as her twenty-first birthday approaches. The curse placed on her at her christening will hunt her down through the years, gathering strength, and at some point a princess must become a queen, even if she would rather just stay ordinary.
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I have to admit, Robin McKinley's retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty was a book I had trouble making sense of as a child. It just didn't fit with the way I felt the story should go. Now that I am an adult, however, I finally appreciate McKinley's deft handling of possibly the most passive princess in all of fairy tale literature. Spindle's End sets this familiar story in a land steeped with magic--so steeped, in fact, that the folk who live there must descale their teapots of magic encrustation so that it will continue to pour tea, and not, say, spiders. Magic is everywhere, and the people deal with it on a daily basis. Either they are fairies and they handle the odd magics themselves, or they hire a fairy to keep things from running amok. Being an avid reader of fantasy novels, I have read many, many books dealing with magic, and this book handles it in a wonderfully logical way. In Spindle's End, magic is a practical, mundane part of life. While the novel's characters recognize it's power, they also are completely accustomed to its effects. This interesting setting informs the tone of the whole story. Rather than talking further about the plot, I will just say that this novel is worth reading merely for the unique experience of this magically drenched setting full of its utterly practical people, of whom our cursed princess is one.
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