Robin McKinley: Bibliography

Alia

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Damar:
The Blue Sword (1982)
The first book written about the land of Damar, this novel features Harry, a somewhat awkward and unusual young woman whose destiny leads her far from the familiar but sedate Homeland, into a vivid land of magic, kings, mages, and swords. As always, Robin McKinley's storytelling abilities make the story surprisingly believable and the writing wonderfully melodic.

The Hero and the Crown (1984)
This novel was written as a prequel to The Blue Sword, set hundreds of years earlier, but featuring the familiar character Aerin. This is the story of her painful youth as she fulfills the destiny that earns her a place as a hero and a legend. The magic that Robin McKinley weaves in this book earned her the Newbery Medal.

Fairy Tales:
Beauty: A Re-telling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast (1978)
This first novel by McKinley sets the precedent for fine characterization and storytelling that she demonstrates throughout her work. In Beauty, she takes a pleasant, familiar story and makes it vivid, detailed, and entrancing.
Rose Daughter (1997)
With this book McKinley probably becomes the only author of two books telling the story of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and her two sisters go into the country with their father after disaster strikes, but the world, characters, and story behind the Beast are all different.

Spindle's End (2000)
'Sleeping Beauty' type story.

Other Stories:
The Outlaws of Sherwood (1988)
Everyone knows the story of Robin Hood, outlaw in Sherwood forest. The tale has been told and retold countless times, but Robin McKinley adds texture and characterization to the story that other authors have not. In her story, the characters become real people with real struggles and personalities, and the story becomes richer and more detailed.

Deerskin (1993) Contains issues such as Rape & Incest
Robin McKinley again demonstrates her art as a storyteller with this terrifyingly powerful fairytale. In Deerskin, Princess Lissar grows up to demonstrate the very same beauty as her mother. So similar did they appear that the king turned in wrath on his daughter after his wife died, and Lissar must flee her home. This vivid story is full of emotion and strength, and McKinley illustrates both of them perfectly.
NOTE: this book is based on Charles Perrault's "Donkeyskin", and is much darker than McKinley's other books. A large portion could be considered outright depressing. Sensitive people, and parents who like sheltering their children, may wish to avoid it.

Other Novels:
Light Princess (1988)

Rowan (1992)
Illustrated (by Donna Ruff) children's book. "A child and a new puppy work through the difficult initial adjustments and soon belong to each other."

The Stone Fey (1998)
This is an illustrated children's book version of "The Stone Fey", a short story originally published in Imaginary Lands, an anthology edited by McKinley. Illustrated by John Clapp.

Sunshine (2003) This is an adult book.
Robin writes about vampires, with overtones of "Buffy" worldbuilding and Anita Blake.

Collections:
The Door in the Hedge (1982)
This book features four fairy-tale type short stories: "The Stolen Princess", "The Princess and the Frog", "The Hunting of the Hind", and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." All are told with exceptional detail and flavor.
A Knot in the Grain and other stories (1996)
Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits (2002) with Peter Dickinson

Also:
"The Healer",
"The Stagman",
"Touk's House",
"Buttercups",

Anthologies:
Imaginary Lands
Short story collection (1985)

Information taken from the following websites:
http://ofb.net/~damien/mckinley/
http://www.robinmckinley.com/


Feel free to discuss... :)
 
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Teresa Edgerton

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I'd have some reservations about putting Deerskin down as a YA. The book has sort of a split personality, and while the later parts with the princess, the prince, and all the dogs is very YA, the first section has some rather disturbing content of rape and incest.

An interesting thing about Beauty and Rose Daughter is that they are both retellings of "Beauty and the Beast" written by the author at very different periods in her life. They are both very good, but they have practically nothing in common but the source material.
 

Alia

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Interesting comments about Deerskin... I wonder if it is one of her Adult Fiction books and should be listed as such. My source didn't list the book that Dwndrgn mentioned Sunshine, which is an Adult book.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Oops. I had decided to email you some of that info (now erased) but you read and answered my original message while I was re-editing it.

But yes, as you can probably guess, I have read quite a bit of McKinley. She's one of my favorite authors, although I like some of her books a lot more than others.
 

dwndrgn

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Help! I'm stuck in the forums!
Now I'm confused! :confused:

Anyway, I was thinking earlier that I had read several of Robin McKinley's work, her name is terribly familiar to me. However, looking at the list above, it seems that I've only read one of them. I must remedy that!
 

Teresa Edgerton

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You have every right to feel confused, dwndrgn.

Put it down to cross-posting, cross-editing, and cross purposes.

Maybe you've read some of her short fiction, dwndrgn? She writes quite a bit of that, and very good it is, too.
 

dwndrgn

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Help! I'm stuck in the forums!
It's quite possible. I also have a vague notion that she's done a couple of collaborations? Probably wrong in that too. In any case, I've got two of hers on hold for me at the library, The Blue Sword and her newest, Sunshine. I probably won't get them for a while but that's ok since I have lots of other books waiting to be read (as usual :D ).
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Excellent revised bibliography, Alia!

(Though the above messages are going to look even more confusing and out of sequence. Don't try to figure it out, folks. Just know that it all made sense at the time.)
 

Alia

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Thanks Kelpie! :)

Just a note about the comments that followed the titles of the books... they aren't mine. I took them from one of the websites listed in the first post. I did however edit a few of the comments, so a few aren't exactly the same.
 

rune

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THis is one of those authors I've yet to find a book to read. My library is hopeless :( I will get one though as I keep reading other's rave about her :)
 

Jaxom_Ruatha

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I've read both her Damar books: The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, really great books. The characters and setting is really vivid and fairly exotic (to me at least) taking place in a desert land, that is actually rich in culture and people.
 

BetsySnow

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I read beauty and I loved it!!! I thought it to be cute and her Beast was very sad and cute. I really did love it! Only complaint was the too quick ending. I'll be sure to by Rose Daughter, so thanks for the info.
 

Sathai

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I've only read one book by her, Spindle's End. It's been awhile since I read it, I remember that it was a fairytale retelling. I have Water:Tales of Elemental Spirits on my TBR pile.
 

Sathai

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I just took a peek at her website...she has a new book coming out in September of this year, Dragonhaven.
 

Pyan

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I've read both her Damar books: The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, really great books. The characters and setting is really vivid and fairly exotic (to me at least) taking place in a desert land, that is actually rich in culture and people.
Same here - I thought there were distinct echos of Rudyard Kipling's Indian Raj in the setting of The Blue Sword, and both books are little gems.
Just wish she'd write more stories set in Damar.
 

Nesacat

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Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
Started with Beauty which was the first time I'd heard of McKinley's books. Beauty & The Beast is possibly my favourite fairy tale so I do actively search out retellings.

Read Beauty and then Rose Daughter and liked them both. As has been said here already, they are surprisingly different for having been written by the same writer based on the same fairy tale. But it's as if two different people wrote them. I've also read Spindle's End and Water: Tales Of Elemental Spirits. I didn't know there were supposed to be more of these. I liked the tales in Water.

Deerskin was disturbing and I don't think it should be classified as a young adult book either, though that is where I found it. There's some disturbing threads running through the tale. It is well written and I liked it much better than The Outlaws Of Sherwood.

The most recent book of hers that I read was Sunshine and this one I really liked very much. Her vampire was different and he had a very different relationship with a human. I liked the way she'd worked that.
 

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