Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: Pegasus

This relatively new book is very similar in style to Robin McKinley's early works...until you get to the end.
In the world created within these pages, it is traditional for two peoples--the humans and the pegasi--to create a bond between carefully selected individuals in order for the races to better understand each other.
This is the story of a princess and her pegasus, and the secret that they uncover.
I didn't care for the ending at all--it was too abrupt, and didn't fully resolve things--but it was interesting until that point. However, the ending makes all the pages before it seem like wasted time, so I can't recommend this one wholeheartedly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review: The Blue Sword

Those of you who love Robin McKinley are no doubt already acquainted with The Blue Sword, as it is one of her very early works. However, I had the opportunity to discover it for the first time this past December, and fell completely in love.
This high-adventure tale has all the elements neccessary for a really good story: swordfights, kidnapping, danger, excitement, romance, and compelling characters. I loved it so much, I bought a copy online before I'd even finished reading the library copy. Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review: Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits

Another excellent story collection by husband-and-wife team Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson, Fire brings together tales of such things as salamanders, hellhounds, and the Phoenix. Some of my favorite short stories included Dave's Wood (Dickinson), Hellhound (McKinley)--possibly the best story in the book, and Salamander Man (Dickinson), although I enjoyed them all. This one also includes a story about McKinley's Damar, entitled A Pool in the Desert. This anthology is even better than their previous endeavor, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits

This four-star collection of six short stories by husband-and-wife collaborators Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson is imaginative, satisfying, and extremely well-told. The tales are filled with mer-folk, sea serpents, water horses, and more, however, these are not your average mermaid tales. The rendering of the various worlds of the merfolk abound with rich descriptions, satsifying plots, and variety. Personal favorites among these stories included Water Horse (McKinley), Kraken (Dickinson), and The Sea-King's Son (McKinley). This last one surfaces as an unusual retelling of McKinley's favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Excellent! [266 pages.]