June 2024
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Review: Deerskin, Robin McKinley

Princess Lissar grows to womanhood forgotten in a corner of a large castle; the focus is firmly on her beautiful parents.  Only after her mother dies does Lissar gain attention, and not in any way that she wants.  Lissar is forced to flee for her own safety with only her dog Ash at her side.  Forgotten and lost in the woods, Lissar must learn how to stand on her own two feet, with the help of a little magic.

I love Robin McKinley.  I’ve said in my reviews of her other books that she has a prose style that reminds me of fairy tales and puts me far, far back into my own childhood.  I knew that “something horrible” happened in this book which may not be appropriate for small children to read, but it wasn’t really enough to  put me off it even after I realized what it was – what it had to be.  I loved Lissar’s transformation, her struggle to find herself, her slow journey towards recognition, and definitely her relationship with Ash, who was a great character all on her own.  I especially loved the end.

So, recommended?  Definitely, although not for squeamish or those averse to violence; I don’t think this is actually a YA book, although correct me if I’m wrong, someone!

Buy Deerskin on Amazon.


5 comments to Review: Deerskin, Robin McKinley

  • No, I don’t think it’s YA either. I loved this book. It was difficult to read at times, but like you I loved Lissar’s transformation.

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  • Blogging is bad for the health of my bank account. This sounds terrific. I love literary fantasy (is there such a genre? or did I just make that up?)

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  • Sounds like an interesting read! I’ve never read this author, or really any Sci/Fi/Fantasy writers except Tolkien.

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  • I actually have three copies of this book because I keep lending them out, and then I want to read it so I buy a new one, and then I have another one to lend out… It’s a vicious circle. And all three are lent out to people in Ohio, so I probably won’t ever get them back. (One I refused to take back because I insisted that she had to get past page 20 before deciding not to read it–she said it was too slow for her.)

    I’m so excited that you liked this book! Have you looked up the original Donkeyskin tale it’s based on? McKinley did such a wonderful job reinventing it.

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  • I totally agree with you about McKinley…I just love her books for the same fairy tale feel. I can get lost in her writing. Thanks for the review. Wisteria