Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.
Newbery Medalist McKinley embroiders and expands upon the tale of Sleeping Beauty, and creates a cast of action-oriented heroines. In a boxed review, PW said, "Dense with magical detail and all-too-human feeling, this luscious, lengthy novel is almost impossible to rush through." Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 7 Up-McKinley once again lends a fresh perspective to a classic fairy tale, developing the story of "Sleeping Beauty" into a richly imagined, vividly depicted novel. At Princess Briar-Rose's name-day, the fairy Pernicia, feeling snubbed, presents the baby with a gift: a curse that will cause the princess to prick her finger on a spinning-wheel spindle on her 21st birthday, and fall into a sleep from which she will never awaken. To save the princess, the fairy Katriona spirits the infant away to her backwater home in the village of Foggy Bottom, where the child is raised as a village maiden. Her years of growing up are described in detail, with suspense building as the critical birthday approaches. To confuse Pernicia's curse, Rosie and her friend Peony trade identities at a gala birthday celebration. It is Rosie's kiss that wakes the sleeping Peony, who continues the pretense and marries the prince. This leaves Rosie happy as a village lass, tending animals and in love with the fairy blacksmith. The language evokes ancient bards and stories of long ago, with arcane and invented words that create an otherworldly atmosphere that blends the real and the magical. The landscape is rendered in minute detail; the characters are developed through interior monologues, parenthetical observations, and long asides. Magic permeates this world, with animals that talk and castles that protect. The compelling climax reinforces the triumph of good over evil, and the transformative power of love. McKinley's telling of the tale is as boggy as Foggy Bottom, and the verbiage as intricate and complex as the thorny roses that encase the castle. However, those who stick with it will unearth a good story.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"We think we know the end of the story, but still we're drawn forward by the small variations and twists...Satisfying reading, pleasing in the depth of the weaving and elaboration."--Chicago Tribune
"Rich prose and colorful description...keep readers spellbound."--Rocky Mountain News
"Mythic grandeur...with magical detail and all-too-human feeling."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Brilliant...[a] sumptuous world." -The New York Times Book Review
"Evokes ancient bards and stories of long ago...The compelling climax reinforces the triumph of good over evil, and the transformative power of love."--School Library Journal
"Full of humor and romance as well as magic and adventure...A spellbinding novel." -Booklist
"In Spindle's End, [McKinley] turns her pen to the tale of Briar Rose, or sleeping beauty, and the results are sheer joy." -Fantasy & Science Fiction
"We think we know the end of the story, but still we're drawn forward by the small variations and twists...satisfying reading, pleasing in the depth of the weaving and elaboration." -Chicago Tribune