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Spindle's End
Spindle's End
Author: Robin McKinley
The evil fairy Pernicia has set a curse on Princess Briar-Rose: she is fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless, poisoned sleep. Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps the princess in order to save her; she and her aunt raise the child in their small village, where no one knows her true identity. But Perni...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780698119505
ISBN-10: 0698119509
Publication Date: 5/13/2002
Pages: 422
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 106 ratings
Publisher: Firebird
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Mistry avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 105 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A very enjoyable view of Sleeping Beauty. Robin McKinley writes another wonderful book.
crazydougmom avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was actually disappointed in this book of McKinley's. All of her books have been fun of great adventure and much fantasy and while this book had all the usual content it was very, very hard to get into and moved really slow. I really liked her beauty and the beast adaptation MUCH better. I would not recommend this novel, not when her other books are so outstanding! I guess since her books are usually so wonderful this one fell flat, I didn't end up finishing it.
reviewed Spindle's End on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I love Spindle's End. While some might find it hard to get into (the first chapter is mostly just description), I was enchanted by it. McKinley slowly draws the reader into the story, and then adds layer after layer to make this world and these characters very real and very life-like. It's a lavish and beautifully told story...and an old one--the story of Sleeping Beauty--but McKinley puts a twist on it that makes it uniquely hers.
PhoenixFalls avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 185 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of McKinley's strongest works to date, and it makes me laugh to think that she essentially wrote it on a dare. From what she's said on her website, she had no love for the sleeping beauty myth -- after all, the princess spends it completely useless and out of the action, exactly opposite McKinley's usual heroines. The story she crafted in response to the fairy tale beautifully recasts the outside of the tale (the curse, the fairy godmothers, the spelled sleep, and rose hedge) with a new interior, upending the usual story into one in which the princess is a real person that the reader cares deeply for -- and a person who is instrumental in her own salvation, rather than a bystander to it.

But beyond the female empowerment coming-of-age tale are the glimpses of depth all of McKinley's best stories have: explorations of what family means, and the necessity of acting with courage and compassion even when it may leave you vulnerable to dark forces. The moments I loved best about this novel are when McKinley shows us that even the best ending, the one that leaves everyone happiest, may still have unexpected sharp edges, little bits of pain that come with gaining a great victory at the cost of something you didn't necessarily value in the first place. The unexpected resolution to the story (even more unexpected because it continues to remain true to the outside form of the sleeping beauty fairy tale) is brilliant and winning and just the tiniest bit bittersweet.

Even laying aside how wonderful the novel ends, it is a joy from start to finish. It has more humor than any other McKinley work, and the Gig (and Woodwold within it) is certainly one of McKinley's most delightful worlds. For those who have read her obsessively (as I have) there are even hints that this is Damar, the world of The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, many generations later, and it is implied that the princess' mother comes from the kingdom that Lissar settled in in Deerskin. On rereading, I am even further convinced that this is one of my favorite novels of all time.
reviewed Spindle's End on + 1568 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep--a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her...
This is an imaginative retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty by the author of THE BLUE SWORD, THE HERO AND THE CROWN,THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD, THE DOOR IN THE HEDGE, and DEERSKIN. It has a few unique twists, and I give it 5 stars!
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cheryln52 avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 11 more book reviews
McKinley just does a masterful job of fleshing out a fairy tale and making it a believable, if fantasy, story. I love her work! This is, of course, Sleeping Beauty.
reviewed Spindle's End on + 22 more book reviews
This was my least favorite book of all of McKinley's writings! While I love the new twist on the original Sleeping Beauty, it was a slow and often confusing read for me. I found the first half of the book slow and the second half confusing! I finished the whole book because I have much loved McKinely's other books, but I would not recommend this one. McKinley is a very talented writer and I encourage you to read her other books!
reviewed Spindle's End on + 407 more book reviews
Robin McKinley does a wonderful job portraying the Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose fairy tale in a fresh light. By delving into the people's attempt to thwart the evil fairy Pernicia, she expands the story so that when I got to the inevitable confrontation, I was rooting for Rosie and her friends, both human and animal.
MomLog avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 14 more book reviews
This novel, a retelling of the fairy tale, "Sleeping Beauty," was imaginative but rambling. The story line did not flow well because of the many asides and background information McKinley inserts. I felt it needed a large amount of editing to tighten it up. The characters were well developed, however. But overall, I found myself becoming tired of the rambling background inserts and had to skim over much of it in the last third of the book. A better fairy tale retelling by McKinley is "Beauty".
conniefritsche avatar reviewed Spindle's End on + 6 more book reviews
Over all a good book, but a little hard to get into at first.