Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The Door in the Hedge ~ Robin McKinley

I love that feeling, when you've found a new author, and you've still got their books still spread out before you, like a new country to explore. I'd heard of McKinley but what finally pushed me toward her was a line in Briar Rose:

She went to bed and finished only a few pages of McKinley's Beauty, a book she reread whenever she felt troubled. (pg. 94)

The best kind of recommendation, I think. Somebody had already checked out Beauty from the school library, so I picked up The Door in the Hedge. McKinley's prose is marvelous, it really makes these stories work (which is not to say that her plotting or characterization is weak). I love her wry humor (I thought she was British at first; she lives in England now but apparently she's originally from Maine). I'm afraid I don't have anything really interesting to say; I didn't think too hard about this book, not because it's lightweight, but there's something to be said for escapism, and lord knows I need some right now. I don't mean to imply that it's fantasy fluff; they're charming stories but they're also well-written and engaging and full of emotion--and magic (of course!). "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" is the last and the best of the four tales. I think "The Stolen Princess" is original; it's not about capture and danger, as the heroines pretty much rescue themselves, but more about...well...how to live in a peaceful, neighbourly fashion when your country borders on Faerieland. The other stories are retellings of traditional fairy tales, with McKinley's own twists and spins on them (I think the re-told fairy tale must be one of my favorite genres).
I hate it when I find a good book and all I can think to say about it is "Wow! That was great!" Anyway, here's the author's website; go read her, she's much more interesting than I am.


Post a Comment

<< Home