Robin McKinley

Robin McKinley has to be one of my all time favorites. 🙂 Her work is firmly in the fantasy realm, but before you dismiss this post, she has won the Newberry medal and several other awards. That means it’s GOOD fantasy. There is a difference.

Her first novel, Beauty was a re-telling of the classic beauty and the beast story. Awesome. My favorite though is that the story re-visited her to be told again when she was a grandmother. Rose Daughter is a little darker, less innocent, but also amazing. I’m not sure which is my favorite. If you’ve always loved the story, it’s very interesting to compare the two versions.

Other books I would highly recommend if you’ve never read McKinley are:

The Outlaws of Sherwood. Again, we can all tell this story with our eyes shut. She makes it new and interesting (something Hollywood cant’ do to save its life). Robin is a worrier, and Marian kicks butt. Excellent.

Sunshine– a pre-Twilight vampire novel, vampires are scary again. Magic and monsters roam free, and Sunshine just wants to live her life. Here’s the cover quote from Neil Gaiman:”Sunshine is a gripping, funny, page-turning, pretty much perfect work of magical literature that exists more or less at the unlikely crossroads of Chocolat, Interview with the Vampire, Misery, and the tale of Beauty and the Beast.”  pretty cool.

The Hero & The Crown, The Blue Sword– These are the two Newbery books. Awesomeness. Two FEMALE heros go on amazing adventures in Damar.  There was a time when I probably could have recited these books. I definitely would have volunteered to go live in Damar.  lol. It’s good not to be in middle school anymore.

Deerskin– an original fairy tale, this one gave me nightmares the first time I read it. Re-reading it as an adult, it was still amazing, creepy, beautiful, and engrossing. In the world of princesses w/ a backbone though, Princess Lissa is pretty high up there.

There are about 10 other books (16 total) , but if you’re going to pick just one or two, start with these. Yes, some of them seem to be begging for sequels. Yes, she’s aware of it and has talked about it on her blog repeatedly. Yes, when the characters start talking again, there will be more.  I hope.  🙂

In her career, Ms. McKinley has won the following awards:

  • 1983 Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword.
  • 1985 Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown.
  • 1986 World Fantasy Award for Anthology/Collection for Imaginary Lands.[8]
  • 1998 Phoenix Award Honor Book for Beauty.[9]
  • 2004 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine.[10] 
Have a great Monday! If it’s not, grab a book and escape. Tuesday has to be better. 

5 Comments on “Robin McKinley”

  1. ladyeleanor says:

    Thanks for the recommendations I’ll give one of her novels a try!

  2. Rilla Z says:

    You already know I love this topic! Thanks for the reading suggestions. I think Ms. McKinley excels at developing a hunger in her readers for the environments she creates. So, I can’t wait to read more.

    • That is an excellent way to describe her writing! She tells you enough abou the world to satisfy the story, but you’re always wondering what ELSE is happening, both in the places and to the characters. 🙂

  3. pastormag says:

    I kept wondering, “What about Wise Child?” while I read this post. But then I looked and saw that Wise Child is by Monica Furlong. So, you know: that’s why!

    I loved Beauty, which I think is the only Robin McKinley I’ve read. Thanks for the tip on some more to try!

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