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Author: Robin McKinley
As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee for safety from her father's lust and madness. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar will unlock a door to a world of magic, where she will find t...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780441012398
ISBN-10: 0441012396
Publication Date: 5/3/2005
Pages: 384
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 44 ratings
Publisher: Ace Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Deerskin on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is one of Robin McKinley darker books. It is a loose and wonderful retelling of Donkeyskin, a Charles Perrault story. Princess Lissar suffers a horrible tragedy very young in her life, which forces her to flee from her family. This is the beginning of an adventure that gives her a new life and a new identify. Robin McKinley is a wonderful writer who tells this story with such compassion. The ending is hugely satisfying.
reviewed Deerskin on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a powerful story. This has some very dark parts toward the beginning. There is an element of the mystical. Yet a very human story and very human struggle. This one is hard to explain. I would not suggest it for younger readers. It is not as suitable for them as "The Blue Sword" is. [I am not a parent however, and may have an inaccurate view of what young people can handle in terms of reading/viewing traumatic events. If you are a parent of a teen who wants to read this, read it yourself first.] That said, I really like this story and have re-read it a few times. It is no darker than Julie Garwood's contemporary novels as a point of comparison. Less so in some ways since the dark thread does not run so strongly (and menacingly) through it as with Garwood's new ones.

I saw a review somewhere else for this book and the writer said she wished the ending went a little farther in telling what happens with the heroine. I thought it was a good way to end the book. For any of you who feel the same however, read the first part of Spindle's End where they talk about the queen and her country of origin.
ESNQueen avatar reviewed Deerskin on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is well-written, and it's a wonderful book, BUT - it's frequently found shelved in the young adult section of bookstores with Blue Sword and Hero and the crown, where it shouldn't be. The disturbing adult themes make it not-kid-friendly. Otherwise, it is a very good book, just like all of McKinley's books.
reviewed Deerskin on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Absolutely riveting. You won't be able to put it down. Much darker than McKinley's other books, but really good.
reviewed Deerskin on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Like most things Robin McKinley has written, this is well written and engaging, but had some themes that I found disturbing. Due to said themes, I will never reread this book though McKinley is one of my favorites.

I think the Author's Note is the best warning I can give without destroying the plot for people: "There is a Story by Charles Perrault called Donkeyskin which, because of its subject matter, often does not appear in collections of Perrault's fairy tales. Or if it does appear, it does so in a bowlderized state. The original Donkeyskin is where Deerskin began."

So if you want more details on where I got squicked, either google donkeyskin or send me a message. I don't want to ruin the book for those with a less delicate stomach.
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reviewed Deerskin on
Lovely lyrical story. I really didn't want it to end. My first McKinley book, but it definitely won't be my last!
paulmc avatar reviewed Deerskin on + 7 more book reviews
A little too descriptive for me. A lack of intrigue...I need more intertwinning plots. Nice story though. A princess fairy tale mostly.