The Door in the Hedge

The Door in the Hedge

And Other Stories

eBook - 2014
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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

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.

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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Open Road Integrated Media, Inc., 2014
ISBN: 9781497673687
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Contents: The stolen princess
The princess and the frog
The hunting of the hind
The twelve dancing princess


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FindingJane Jun 20, 2016

In a style as dreamlike as the world she attempts to describe, Ms. McKinley gives description to the indescribable and the ineffable. Her world of the fae is one of sudden disappearances rather than brutal killings but it is no less fearful for all that.

In one story, there are disappearances, in a world of men that borders on faery. There is no reason given for the kidnapping of little boys or adolescent girls. The children vanish, that’s all. There is no reason people should stay; but somehow they don’t leave. Life is by and large lovelier than it is elsewhere in the world. But the price to be paid is the loss of children and life has reached a point where people simply accept it, as they would yearly floods or hurricanes.

Ms. McKinley makes her sunlit worlds places of ordinary wonder and muted threat, with spaces where humans may stumble onto a quiet glade and realize that there is magic about, even if they don’t know where or can fathom its traces. It’s also impressive the way she can outline silences, secrets that people hide and lies that they commit without speech. Sometimes pages go by in which nothing happens and yet the prose is pregnant with meaning.

She remains a gifted writer of fantasy, one that this reader turns to again and again, simply because she makes it all so fresh, vibrant and new.

Jul 06, 2014

it got boring at some parts but I guess it was ok

A compendium of the excellent Robin McKinley's fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, stretching from barely fifty pages to eighty. In spite of that she manages to make them endearing and remarkably varied. Of the myriad fairy-tales and retellings that float and bob around the Y/A market, this is a superb collection... However, Robin McKinley's writing takes acclimation!


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