By Robin McKinley
OK, so Robin McKinley is one of my favourite authors ever. Mostly YA stuff, and many fairy tales retold in unique ways.
Spindles End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It is a lovely read, with a twist on the traditional tale. A princess is born, the much waited for heir for a small and magical kingdom. Many important people are invited to the naming day, including a representative from every town and village in the country. Katriona, a young fairy, is the representative of her family. There are to be 21 fairy godparents … all is going well, although Katriona wishes they would give the the princess useful gifts, when evil fairy Pernicia arrives and decrees that on the princesses 21st birthday she will prick her finger on a spindle and fall down dead. Most people are in a glamour or dream-like stupour, but Katriona wearing a special fairy ward hears all. Horrified, and without thinking, she gives the baby princess a gift of her own. Katriona then flees with the infant.
The infant princess becomes Rosie, and grows up thinking she is just “Rosie” – a sort of ordinary girl with a gift for talking to animals (and a fairy aunt and a fairy cousin (Katriona)). As an ordinary girl Rosie is hidden from Pernicia for many years … but as her 21st birthday approaches the truth comes out.
Yep. It is lovely. Very easy to read, and Rosie is such a great character – both strong and kind.