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The Door in the Hedge

Press: Perfection Learning (October 1, 2003)
Publication Date:2003-10
Author Name:McKinley, Robin


Master storyteller Robin McKinley here spins two new fairy tales and retells two cherished classics. 
All feature princesses touched with or by magic.
There is Linadel, who lives in a kingdom next to Faerieland, where princesses are stolen away on their seventeenth birthdays-and Linadel's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow.
And Korah, whose brother is bewitched by the magical Golden Hind; now it is up to her to break the spell.
Rana must turn to a talking frog to help save her kingdom from the evil Aliyander.
And then there are the twelve princesses, enspelled to dance through the soles of their shoes every night.
These are tales to read with delight!

About the Author

Robin McKinley won the 1985 Newbery Medal for her book The Hero and the Crown, and a 1983 Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword, both set in mythical Damar. 
She is also the author of Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
She lives in England.In Her Own Words...
"I was an only child and my father was in the Navy.
We moved every year or two—California, Japan, upstate New York, New England.
I early found the world of books much more satisfactory than the unstable so-called real world.
I can’t remember the first time I read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s but this particular story, about a little girl all alone in a strange land who told stories so wonderful that she believed them herself, fasci-nated me.
I never quite lived up to Sara Crewe’s standard, but I tried awfully hard."Writing has always been the other side of reading for me; it never occurred to me not to make up stories.
Once I got old enough to realize that authorship existed as a thing one might aspire to, I knew it was for me.
I even majored in English literature in college, a good indication of my fine bold disdain for anything so trivial as earning a living; I was going to be a writer, like Dickens and Hardy and George Eliot.
And Kipling and H.
Rider Haggard and J.R.R.
I was, however, going to tell breathtaking stories about girls who had adventures.
I was tired of the boys always getting the best parts in the best books.
What with reading and making up my own stories, I spent most of my life in my head; about the only irresistible attraction reality had for me was in the shape of horses and riding.
And I liked traveling.
Perhaps because of my childhood, staying in one place for very long just seemed to me like a waste of opportunity."It’s funny, though, the things life does to you.
Inadvertently I discovered myself settling down, looking for excuses not to climb on another airplane.
I bought a house because I fell in love with it, and it was somewhere to leave the thousands of books I picked up everywhere I went.
Later, I decided that I wanted something around that didn’t necessarily sit politely on a shelf till I took it down, so I bought a dog, a whippet I named Rowan.
Insidiously I began liking it that tomorrow was going to be much like yesterday: walking the dog, sitting at the typewriter.
I declared myself to have found home in my tiny house in a small village two-thirds of the way up the coast of Maine.
I also, a little ruefully, concluded that my individual mix of the writer’s traditional absent-mindedness, a rather uncompromising feminism, and a naturally intransigent personality made marriage or any sort of permanent romantic attachment impractical.
I didn’t actually think I was missing much; I liked being single.
"This no doubt explains—somehow—why I am now living in a small village in a very large house in Hampshire, England, with my husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson, three whippets, and a horse, and what seems to me, the only child and ex-solitary adult, about half a million Dickinson grandchildren rioting underfoot, down the corridors, and across the garden.
When Peter and I decided to get married, it was obvious to me I was the one who had to emigrate; I was the military brat with lifelong experience of pulling up and moving on.
So I dug up my tender new under-standing of "home," packed it very carefully, and brought it over here with me, with the eighty cartons of books and one bewildered whippet.
It has taken root vigorously here, but the message to headquarters is very emphatic: "Don’t you ever do this to us again." I’m not likely to: I’ve planted over four hundred rosebushes in what were once Peter’s classic English garden borders—and look after them devotedly.
I have the scars to prove it.
I think I’ve discovered reality after all.
I’m astonished at how interesting it is.
It’s giving me more things to write stories about."

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,Anthologies,Literature & Fiction,Short Stories & Anthologies

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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     The stories in this book are sweet and wonderful. I've been enjoying Robin McKinley's books and this one is no exception. A true masterpiece of lovely, complex short stories.

  •     Like most of Robin McKinley's books this is memorably delightful!

  •     My son enjoyed the book.

  •     You can't go wrong with Robin McKinley; everything she writes is wonderful. She's been on my Automatic Buy list ever since I first discovered her. There's a nice healthy backlist now. I recommend every book on it.

  •     Loved the level of description! Will read again and again! Wonderful read aloud to encourage children to improve visualization wonderful!

  •     Too wordy to read to my child. Bored us both.

  •     Enthralling collection of stories! I have always been a fan of Robin McKinley, having read and enjoyed both Beauty and Spindle's End.

  •     Great Stories

  •     McKinley's "Blue Sword" series has long been one of our favorite 'keepers'. However, although she has written many books since then, we have read but not kept any of them. This, too, is reasonably good read but not good enough to be a keeper for us. The first story, in particular, is an incredible bore. There's hardly any dialogue; it's just long, long paragraphs of descriptions and narrative text. It's like reading an essay on a not-very-interesting fairy tale.The last story is beautifully written, but the tale is familiar and McKinley's lyrical writing breaks no new ground, creates no variant from the original storyline - it simply adds more pages to the same old story.If she were a brand new author one would say this was a 'promising work.' But McKinley is a well-established author. That she came out with this 2014 rehash of old fairy tales is very disappointing. If you want to read fairytales that are brilliantly original, "Bone Swans" by C.S.E. Cooney and Gene Wolfe, beats this "B-level anthology" by McKinley, hands-down.

  •     Each of these stories is a gem. The author tells a traditional fairy tale in a way that is still traditional but with a measured cadence and charm.

  •     Be prepared to be enchanted by this wonderful collection of short stories. They are beautifully written tales of men and women who bravely fight against treachery and evil magic for love and honour.

  •     DISCLAIMER: The following review was originally posted on my book blog (link in bio).Oh how I adore McKinley's writing although I do have to admit that I prefer her longer stories to these shorter ones even though these stories were very good as well.The Stolen Princess was about changelings ... er, almost as the fae kind of stole a kid from a family (boys in their infancy, girls in their late teens), but didn't quite give a child in return. One of the kids who gets taken in the middle of the night is a princess as the story's name indicates. Both the premise and execution were really good BUT the story didn't quite resonate with me as I would've liked to.My least favourite story was actually the the first story in this collection - The Stolen Princess. It was good, but I have to say that the second story - The Princess and the Frog stole my heart and that story was definitely way too short. I would usually say that The Princess and the Frog is one of my least favourite fairy tales but McKinley's version was awesome and I was left wanting a story at least three times as long.The third story - The Hunting of the Hind - was also really good and I think if McKinley had written more, it could've been magnificent. But what I really liked about this story was the fact that the savior of the day was a princess no-one actually seemed to believe in.And the last story - The Twelve Dancing Princesses - is a story that I've always liked about princesses who dance away their dancing shoes in the middle of the night. McKinley's version was also really good but I think I kind of prefer the original to this one.All in all, a very pleasant reading experience.

  •     I normally don't read short stories but those in this book are definitely keepers! It's on sale right now in Kindle format for $1.99--snap it up. I will be rereading this treasure. Anything McKinley writes is very good, but this collection is wonderful.

  •     I forced myself to finish the first tale. Then I got a half dozen pages into the second tale when I could take no more. I did not enjoy the style of writing. It did not capture my imagination let alone my attention.

  •     Robin McKinley has an exceptional ability to take any character and make them relatable. The prose is beautiful and the people in her stories are strong and real.


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