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Publisher's Summary

"We will keep her safe."

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....

©2000 Robin McKinley (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Spindle's End

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful world-building, characters you want to have tea with

If you want a fast-paced retelling of Sleeping Beauty, this isn’t the book for you. If you love intricate world-building, characters, and slowly rising emotional stakes, all with beautiful writing, then you may love this retelling. McKinley has always been one of my favorite authors, and I was thrilled to see this come out as an audiobook.

The narrator in general does an excellent job throughout. I occasionally question her choices for the male voices, but loved her reading overall.

6 people found this helpful

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New title: Detailed lies.

First I just want to say Robin McKinley is my favorite writer, and I dont want you to think that this review is a slap in the face, read all her books they are amazing. NOW this book however is so disappointing. She put to much detail in the details, For nearly two chapters she wrote about her feelings the night before her 21st birthday and then every now and again the story would jump back if it had missed said certain feelings. The idea of a wild princess would have been amazing, a strong princess who became queen that defeated an evil fairy and found ways to help her kingdom using said ways that she learned living in foggy bottom, but Robin I believe did not think so, here the princess did not grow and she let fear rule her even after the curse was lifted. She never rejoined the family who always wished to see her and eventually she was forgotten by everyone who tried so hard to protect her, even going as far as to continue using her "double" friend making everyone's sacrifices worthless and the kingdom living a lie just because her friend looked the part of the princess and she herself did not believe this was right for her to be one UUUUUGGGGGHHHH! There was one brief moment where the queen races to foggy bottom to finally meet her and as she hugs the friend she looks over at Rosie and instantly knows that Rosie is the true princess and understood they were not out of danger yet, but at the end suddenly her memory is wiped 100% clean so apparently the curse has a forget me spell attached to it too. The only ones who knew who she really was, was her adoptive cousin (who never wanted to meet her at first and also whos powers we never get to see grow as promised we would) and the aunt and the animals. Really what was the point of this book, what was the point in reading it, What was the point of protecting Rosie from the evil Fairy if this is how it all turned out. My favorite part of this story was hearing "Audible hopes you enjoyed this." Really this book should be called the book of detailed Lies. P.s. her full name was so ridiculous that i should have put down the story right then and there.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too Much Detail & Reader Not Good

Usually a Robin McKinley novel/fairytale leaves me satisfied and thinking. This one, however, is so detailed it feels swamped with information. There is too much detail and not enough talking. To much description and telling about interaction rather than experiencing it. I found myself struggling to finish and begging for it to end. The end, where Rosie fights Pernicia, is so dragged out and detailed I thought I was going scream. Then, there was the reader.

Justine Eyer's got at least a little drama but her voice is so gaspy and breathy that you hear "s"es where there are none. Her drama never increases enough when you finally get to the little action there is.

I am returning this book now, and never want anything to do with it again. Sleeping Beauty has never been so tedious to slog through.

4 people found this helpful

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Exciting and adventure filled and endlessly surprising!

This book was full of joy and fear, excitement and wonder of a new world. It showed me the rules of this world and envited me in. I was afraid I would pretty much know the plot but it has wonderful loophole that you never quite see coming.
I love the book as much as the other robin McKinley books I have read and would recommend to all.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

WAY too confusing and drawn out!

Nearly couldn't finish this one. There is too much time spent on describing everything. By the time it got to actual story content I was not paying enough attention to notice. Then there are the strange time jumps that happen at random times, even in a single sentence! I was struggling to understand what happens at what time. By the time the final conflict was over I realized I had no idea what happened, and I really didn't care anymore.
This is my first Robin McKinley book. If other reviews didn't say that this is not her normal writing style, it would be my last. I will try one more of her books before deciding for sure.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun world, great narrator

This is a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. I read it as part of the Fairy Tale Reading Challenge on Instagram. I'm familiar with the author, having read The Outlaws of Sherwood years ago. I enjoyed that book, so I felt pretty safe reading this.

I'm very glad, given what I have read in other reviews of the book, that I read it as an audiobook. It moved along fairly well and I found the characters and story engaging. Even when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author managed to surprise me a couple times.

I really enjoyed the way that fairies and magic in general was portrayed in the book. There were some intense bits of world building that I felt like added to the story, but... had the potential to drag the story down (for me) in a format other than what I used.

Justine Eyre did a great job as the narrator, giving nearly every character their own voice.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A folksy female fairy tale

The meandering middle of the book was the part I most liked (which others object to), the folksy aspect, the fact it is a women's tale...the ending was dissatisfying and confusing. I almost gave it four stars, but won't re-read it. I wish I had not even listened to the ending and know that I missed some details due to disenchantment from the earlier enchantments (a double entendre there!).

I picked this book after trying Chalice, which I returned as the narration was an awful distraction. I discovered I had four of McKinley's books in Audible, and loved two of them, so I listened to this. I checked Chalice out from the library to read in print soon. I do recommend this Audible version of Spindle's End, but listeners/readers seem to have a wide range of opinions.

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As Good As I Remembered

read this book years ago, and this audiobook captures the characters and dialogue, narrative and drama as well as I had remembered from that earlier read. This is one of my favorites by Robin McKinley, and the only one I kept in hard copy.

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A joy to revisit

Spindle’s End was my favorite of McKinley’s novels when i first discovered them, and I eagerly waited for this audiobook. I am not disappointed.

The story is great, though both it and the narrator lose steam near the end. I find myself starting the book over to spend more time with the characters growing up, and happily re listening to the whole book.

While this is my own interpretation, I’ve always seen Rosie as non-binary. To come back to the story as an adult, I can see this story as being important for lgbtq kids to see someone like them who is loved, heroic, and encouraged to be themselves.

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Great story

I've loved the story for years. I waited for the Audible with great anticipation. I like the performance, mostly, but I could really do without the change in her voice for each character. Some are kind of annoying. Overall, this is still a really enjoyable experience.