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Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

by Robin Mckinley

Robin McKinley's acclaimed first novel is a brilliant reimagining of the classic French fairy tale<P> I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal-minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour....My father still likes to tell the story of how I acquired my odd nickname: I had come to him for further information when I first discovered that our names meant something besides you-come-here. He succeeded in explaining grace and hope, but he had some difficulty trying to make the concept of honour understandable to a five-year-old.... I said: 'Huh! I'd rather be Beauty.' .<P> By the time it was evident that I was going to let the family down by being plain, I'd been called Beauty for over six years... I wasn't really very fond of my given name, Honour, either... as if 'honourable' were the best that could be said of me. <P> The sisters' wealthy father loses all his money when his merchant fleet is drowned in a storm, and the family moves to a village far away. Then the old merchant hears what proves to be a false report that one of his ships had made it safe to harbor at last, and on his sad, disappointed way home again he becomes lost deep in the forest and has a terrifying encounter with a fierce Beast, who walks like a man and lives in a castle. The merchant's life is forfeit, says the Beast, for trespass and the theft of a rose--but he will spare the old man's life if he sends one of his daughters: "Your daughter would take no harm from me, nor from anything that lives in my lands." When Beauty hears this story--for her father had picked the rose to bring to her--her sense of honor demands that she take up the Beast's offer, for "cannot a Beast be tamed?" Kind Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay and through her love releases him from the spell which had turned him from a handsome prince into an ugly beast.<P>

The Blue Sword (Damar #1)

by Robin Mckinley

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?<P><P> Newbery Medal Honor book

Chalice

by Robin Mckinley

Mirasol is a beekeeper. She tends her small woodlot in an obscure corner of Willowlands, and looks after her bees. The earth-lines speak to her, but this is not unusual; they speak to many members of the old families. The concerns of Master, Chalice, and their Circle, who govern Willowlands, are nothing to do with her, although the rumours of this Master's wildness, and his Chalice's inability to bind him with their Circle, are troubling. And then the Master and Chalice die in a fire, and Willowlands is thrown into chaos, for Master and Chalice had no declared heirs to take up their crucial work. The Circle sends at once for the Master's only living relative, who left to become a priest of Fire seven years ago. The priests reply that the new Master will come, but that anyone who has lain in Fire for seven years is no longer quite human. Mirasol hears the news and fears for the future of Willowlands, but she is preoccupied with her own difficulties: her goats are fountaining milk, and her bees are producing so much honey it is pouring out of their hives. And then the Circle comes to her cottage to tell her that she is to be the new Chalice, and it will be up to her to bind the land and its people with a Master the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone.... <P> Newbery Award-winning author Robin McKinley tells a beguiling tale about two highly unlikely leaders that celebrates the healing powers of love and honey.

Deerskin

by Robin Mckinley

The story of Princess Lissar, who flees her father's wrath and is granted an unexpected new life<P> <P> Princess Lissla Lissar is the only child of the king and his queen, who was the most beautiful woman in seven kingdoms. Everyone loved the splendid king and his matchless queen so much that no one had any attention to spare for the princess, who grew up in seclusion, listening to the tales her nursemaid told about her magnificent parents.<P> But the queen takes ill of a mysterious wasting disease and on her deathbed extracts a strange promise from her husband: "I want you to promise me... you will only marry someone as beautiful as I was."<P> The king is crazy with grief at her loss, and slow to regain both his wits and his strength. But on Lissar's seventeenth birthday, two years after the queen's death, there is a grand ball, and everyone present looks at the princess in astonishment and whispers to their neighbors, How like her mother she is!<P> On the day after the ball, the king announces that he is to marry again--and that his bride is the princess Lissla Lissar, his own daughter.<P> Lissar, physically broken, half mad, and terrified, flees her father's lust with her one loyal friend, her sighthound, Ash. It is the beginning of winter as they journey into the mountains--and on the night when it begins to snow, they find a tiny, deserted cabin with the makings of a fire ready-laid in the hearth.<P> Thus begins Lissar's long, profound, and demanding journey away from treachery and pain and horror, to trust and love and healing.

The Door in the Hedge

by Robin Mckinley

Ensorcelled princesses... a frog that speaks... a magical hind--Newbery Medal winner Robin McKinley opens a door into an enchanted world in this collection of original and retold fairy tales<P><P> The last mortal kingdom before the unmeasured sweep of Faerieland begins has at best held an uneasy truce with its unpredictable neighbor. There is nothing to show a boundary, at least on the mortal side of it; and if any ordinary human creature ever saw a faerie--or at any rate recognized one--it was never mentioned; but the existence of the boundary and of faeries beyond it is never in doubt either. <P> So begins "The Stolen Princess," the first story of this collection, about the meeting between the human princess Linadel and the faerie prince Donathor. "The Princess and the Frog" concerns Rana and her unexpected alliance with a small, green, flipper-footed denizen of a pond in the palace gardens. "The Hunting of the Hind" tells of a princess who has bewitched her beloved brother, hoping to beg some magic of cure, for her brother is dying, and the last tale is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in which an old soldier discovers, with a little help from a lavender-eyed witch, the surprising truth about where the princesses dance their shoes to tatters every night.

Dragonhaven

by Robin Mckinley

Jake Mendoza lives at the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies in Smokehill National Park. Smokehill is home to about two hundred of the few remaining draco australiensis, which is extinct in the wild. Keeping a preserve for dragons is controversial: detractors say dragons are extremely dangerous and unjustifiably expensive to keep and should be destroyed. Environmentalists and friends say there are no records of them eating humans and they are a unique example of specialist evolution and must be protected. But they are up to eighty feet long and breathe fire.<P><P> On his first overnight solo trek, Jake finds a dragon--a dragon dying next to the human she killed. Jake realizes this news could destroy Smokehill-- even though the dead man is clearly a poacher who had attacked the dragon first, that fact will be lost in the outcry against dragons.<P> But then Jake is struck by something more urgent--he sees that the dragon has just given birth, and one of the babies is still alive. What he decides to do will determine not only their futures, but the future of Smokehill itself.

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits

by Robin Mckinley Peter Dickinson

After Water comes Fire - five stories from Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson about the necessary yet dangerous element. In these tales, a boy and his dog are unexpected guests on a dragonrider's first flight. A slave saves his village with a fiery magic spell. A girl's new friend, the guardian of a mystical bird, is much older than he appears. A young man walks the spirit world to defeat a fireworm. A mysterious dog is a key player in an eerie graveyard showdown. These five short stories are full of magic, mystery, and wonder."This collection of beautifully crafted tales will find a warm welcome from fans of either author, as well as from fantasy readers in general." - School Library Journal

The Hero and the Crown (Damar #1)

by Robin Mckinley

An outcast princess must earn her birthright as a hero of the realm<P><P> Aerin is an outcast in her own father's court, daughter of the foreign woman who, it was rumored, was a witch, and enchanted the king to marry her.<P> She makes friends with her father's lame, retired warhorse, Talat, and discovers an old, overlooked, and dangerously imprecise recipe for dragon-fire-proof ointment in a dusty corner of her father's library. Two years, many canter circles to the left to strengthen Talat's weak leg, and many burnt twigs (and a few fingers) secretly experimenting with the ointment recipe later, Aerin is present when someone comes from an outlying village to report a marauding dragon to the king. Aerin slips off alone to fetch her horse, her sword, and her fireproof ointment...<P> But modern dragons, while formidable opponents fully capable of killing a human being, are small and accounted vermin. There is no honor in killing dragons. The great dragons are a tale out of ancient history.<P> That is, until the day that the king is riding out at the head of an army. A weary man on an exhausted horse staggers into the courtyard where the king's troop is assembled: "The Black Dragon has come... Maur, who has not been seen for generations, the last of the great dragons, great as a mountain. Maur has awakened." Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the Blue Sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.<P> Newbery Medal Winner

A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories

by Robin Mckinley

Magical stories set in alternate universes... tales of curses and gifts of healing... a wizard who has lost his power... and a princess, a troll, and a teenage girl are featured in this diverse collection from Newbery Medalist Robin McKinley<P><P> In "The Healer," Lily was born mute, but she has so great a natural gift for healing that the local midwife and healer takes her as an apprentice. One evening, riding home, she meets a stranger on the road who can speak to her silently, mind to mind. Overjoyed, she takes him home to Jolin--but Jolin can read the mage-mark on him and fears for Lily's safety, for mages are not to be trusted.<P> In "The Stagman," Ruen is a princess and will become queen on her name day--if her uncle, the Regent, greedy for the power that should belong to his niece, cannot think of a way to prevent it. And so he invents portents and a purifying ritual that involves chaining Ruen to a rock in an old place of sacrifice, not used since her great-grandfather's day, and leaving her there alone. Night falls on her despair and in the flickering torchlight she sees the shadow of a man--or of a man with a stag's antlers--or perhaps of a great stag.<P> In "Touk's House," a witch adopts a woodcutter's baby daughter and raises her along with her own son, whose father was a troll. Erana grows up knowing she is loved, and loving in return--but on her seventeenth birthday she realizes she must leave her foster mother and her best friend and find where in the world she belongs.<P> In "Buttercups," an old man marries a young wife and takes her home, but he feels unworthy of her vivid youth and risks all for a tremendous prize, in an act of what in his heart he knows is a betrayal of the wild magic that lives on his farm.<P> In "A Knot in the Grain," Annabelle has no choice when her parents decide they will move to a small town upstate, the summer before Annabelle's junior year of high school. She spends the summer reclaiming the neglected garden of their new house and reading books from the local library. She also finds a mysterious wooden box in a tiny hidden study above her attic bedroom: a box containing smallish, roundish, nobbly things Annabelle can't identify, but which are faintly warm to the touch--and which seem to be curiously aware of Annabelle, her loneliness, and her longings.

The Outlaws of Sherwood

by Robin Mckinley

The Robin Hood legend comes thrillingly alive in Robin McKinley's reimagining of the classic adventure<P><P> Young Robin Longbow, subapprentice forester in the King's Forest of Nottingham, must contend with the dislike of the Chief Forester, who bullies Robin in memory of his popular father. But Robin does not want to leave Nottingham or lose the title to his father's small tenancy, because he is in love with a young lady named Marian--and keeps remembering that his mother too was gentry and married a common forester.<P> Robin has been granted a rare holiday to go to the Nottingham Fair, where he will spend the day with his friends Much and Marian. But he is ambushed by a group of the Chief Forester's cronies, who challenge him to an archery contest . . . and he accidentally kills one of them in self-defense.<P> He knows his own life is forfeit. But Much and Marian convince him that perhaps his personal catastrophe is also an opportunity: an opportunity for a few stubborn Saxons to gather together in the secret heart of Sherwood Forest and strike back against the arrogance and injustice of the Norman overlords.

Pegasus

by Robin Mckinley

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. But it's different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. New York Times bestselling author Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic. .

Rose Daughter

by Robin Mckinley

Award-winning author Robin McKinley returns to one of our most enduring fairy tales to tell an enthralling story of love and redemption <P><P> Once upon a time, a wealthy merchant had three daughters... and when the merchant's business failed, he and his three daughters left their grand house in the city and moved to a tiny cottage buried deep in the countryside. The youngest daughter, Beauty, is fascinated by the long, thorny stems of an unknown plant that overwhelms the neglected cottage, and she tends it until, the following summer, its rich, fragrant flowers are the most glorious things the sisters have ever seen: roses.v An old woman tells Beauty: "Roses are for love. Not... silly sweethearts' love but the love that makes you and keeps you whole... There's an old folk-tale... there aren't many roses around any more because they need more love than people have to give 'em.... and the only thing that'll stand in for love is magic, though it ain't as good."<P> There's no magic in the town of Longchance, but, the old woman adds, Beauty may not know that this is the result of a sorcerers' battle that happened many years ago, a battle that left a monster, or perhaps a beast, in an enchanted palace somewhere in the deep forest... and a curse concerning a family of three sisters.<P> Beauty grows to love the Beast at whose castle she is compelled to stay, and through her love he is released from the curse that had turned him from man to beast.

Shadows

by Robin Mckinley

My story starts like something out of a fairy tale: I hate my stepfather. Maggie lives in Newworld, where two generations ago they neutralized the magic gene. But her new stepfather, Val, comes from Oldworld, where they still rely on magic and he's . . . different. In fact, the only things stranger than Val are the shadows that follow him everywhere. Weird, dizzying, leaping and lurching shadows. Maggie is determined to find out why, and when she meets Casimir, a beautiful boy from Oldworld, She thinks she might be nearing an explanation - until something terrible happens and events spiral beyond their control and all scientific reason. Suddenly it's not so clear who can be trusted. Can Maggie and her friends find a truce between mafic and science before it's too late?

Shadows

by Robin Mckinley

A compelling and inventive novel set in a world where science and magic are at odds, by Robin McKinley, the Newbery-winning author of The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, as well as the classic fantasy titles Beauty, Chalice, Spindle's End, Pegasus and Sunshine<P><P> Maggie knows something's off about Val, her mom's new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won't have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But--more importantly--what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie's great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago.<P> Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He's from Oldworld too--and he's heard of Maggie's stepfather, and has a guess about Val's shadows. Maggie doesn't want to know... until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage.<P> In this dangerously unstable world, neither science nor magic has the necessary answers, but a truce between them is impossible. And although the two are supposed to be incompatible, Maggie's discovering the world will need both to survive.

Spindle's End

by Robin Mckinley

An exceptional retelling of The Sleeping Beauty which takes the reader into a magical world filled with modern characters, encountering adventure, love and loss. Rosie is very, very ordinary. No-one, not even an extremely powerful and evil fairy who is out for the princess's blood, would give Rosie a second glance. But then, even Rosie doesn't know the secret of her own birth. . . and she cannot be hidden forever as her twenty-first birthday approaches. The curse placed on her at her christening will hunt her down through the years, gathering strength, and at some point a princess must become a queen, even if she would rather just stay ordinary-

Sunshine

by Robin Mckinley

Winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature: In a world where darkness threatens, there is Sunshine...<P> <P> Although it had been mostly deserted since the Voodoo Wars, there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years. Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, head baker at her family's busy and popular café in downtown New Arcadia, needed a place to get away from all the noise and confusion--of the clientele and her family. Just for a few hours. Just to be able to hear herself think.<P> She knew about the Others, of course. Everyone did. And several of her family's best regular customers were from SOF--Special Other Forces--which had been created to deal with the threat and the danger of the Others.<P> She drove out to her family's old lakeside cabin and sat on the porch, swinging her feet and enjoying the silence and the silver moonlight on the water.<P> She never heard them coming. Of course, you don't when they're vampires.

Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits

by Robin Mckinley Peter Dickinson

What magical beings inhabit earth's waters? Some are as almost-familiar as the merpeople; some as strange as the thing glimpsed only as a golden eye in a pool at the edge of Damar's Great Desert Kalarsham, where the mad god Geljdreth rules; or as majestic as the unknowable, immense Kraken, dark beyond the darkness of the deepest ocean, who will one day rise and rule the world. <P><P> Master storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson share tales of mysterious merfolk and magical humans, all with close ties to the element of water. From Pitiable Nasmith's miserable existence in a seaside town whose inhabitants are more intertwined with the sea than most people know, to Tamia's surprising summons to be the apprentice to the Guardian who has the power to hold back the sea, each of the six stories illuminates a captivating world filled with adventure, romance, intrigue, and enchantment. Robin McKinley fans will recognize one of the worlds included-Damar, the setting of Newbery Medal winner The Hero and the Crown and Newbery Honor Book The Blue Sword.

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