Monday, February 8, 2010

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley

Spindle's End is the retelling of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. For those of you who don't know the story of Sleeping Beauty begins when the princess is born and an evil fairy puts a curse on her saying that she will prick her finger on a spindle's end and die on her birthday. That's the gist of the story in a nutshell :) But what makes this book different is that the author puts her own spin on the story and on the princess herself. Robin McKinley adds many different elements of fantasy to the story to make the book unique and different from the classic Disney version that most of us have seen.

My opinion on this one goes a bit of both ways. The best way to put it is that I liked Spindle's End but I didn't love it. I liked the way that Rosie (the princess) is portrayed and I really liked all of the characters in the story. We really got to know the characters throughout the book and I couldn't help but grow attached to them as the story went on. I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next especially since I knew the way that they story was "supposed" to go. Happily, the author was constantly putting her own spin on things which made the ending a suprise and different than what I expected. Now on the flip side, this book dragged for me at different points. I'm not sure if I got bogged down in all of the details or what but at times it just felt to be a bit too much. I think the author could have cut out some of the details relating to fairies and magic and the story would have been just as good. But that's my opinion and others might disagree.

All in all, Spindle's End was an interesting retelling of Sleeping Beauty and I will be open to reading more books by this author especially since I see that she has won some awards for other things that she has written. But I recommend it with a caution as there are some slow parts that cut down on my enjoyment of the novel.

Disclaimer: This was another great find from my local library!
*I read this for the following challenges:
Fantasy Reading Challenge
New Author Challenge
YA Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
"S" Title for A-Z Challenge (personal)


  1. I admire your honest, well-written review, Sam. This sounds like an interesting spin on a classic fairy tale.

  2. At times I've found McKinley hard to read. I liked your thoughts on this one and the cool thing is how many challenges you knocked out by reading it!!

  3. Suko- Thank you very much! It was interesting which makes me inclined to give this author another go at some point.

    Staci- Glad to hear that I'm not the only one. Which books have you read by McKinley? And it is always nice to read a book that fits so many challenges!

  4. great review, it does sound good, even if it dragged a bit at parts.

  5. I really loved McKinley's Blue Sword and also Chalice. I can't remember there being slower parts, but they are both smaller than Spindle's End.

  6. I completely agree with you when it comes to Spindle's End. I'm an avid McKinley fan and quite honestly this is not her best work.

    I've never minded the details of the fairies and the magics in the book, one thing I appreciate about McKinley is that she always imagines up something completely different than other fantasy authors.

    The part that dragged for me, however, was the part that should have been the most climactic, the big run in with Pernicia. Sometimes her unique spins are too unique for me.

    I will say I liked Spindle's End better the second time around, though.

  7. Melissa- I definitely plan on reading more by this author as I did enjoy this book despite it being a bit slow at times.

    Irishrose- Interesting! What is your favorite book by this author?

  8. The name Robin McKinley brings back memories of the 1980s (true), when her Damar books, The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown appeared.

    The Blue Sword is still a book I am glad to name as an all-time favourite. I devoured it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the next Damar book.

    Unfortunately, McKinley has said she just can't make the Damar magic happen again. She's tried and tried, but the muse has moved on.

    I haven't read any of her re-tellings of fairy tales, because the idea just doesn't float my boat. However, I can vouch for McKinley being a great writer and I thoroughly recommend diving into her delicious Damar novels.

  9. Great review, and I have to say I agree with you. There were a lot of good points to this book, but I didn't find it overly memorable. My favorite McKinley's are The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword and Beauty.


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