Friday, May 16, 2008

Robin McKinley: Deerskin

Deerskin: B-
Lissla Lissar


Heir to her late mother's legendary beauty, Princess Lissar becomes the victim of her grief-maddened father's desire. Fleeing her home, she seeks solace and solitude in a great forest--and discovers a magic that leads her toward healing and justice. Loosely based on "Donkeyskin," an obscure fairy tale by Charles Perrault, this story of a young woman's survival and recovery is both a classic hero's journey-tale and a parable for modern times. (amazon)

This is, by far, the most interesting read of the month and is essentially a story of a woman’s strength and the path of healing from one of the gravest hurt a woman can experience.

Lissla unfortunately inherits her mother’s famed beauty and to her horror, her father goes mad after the death of her mother. When he transfers that insanity on Lissla, she and her dog flee. It is with time and the help of the magical Lady of the Moon, the moon goddess, that she is able to recuperate.

When she travels to another kingdom, she meets Prince Ossin who shares her love of dogs. He doesn’t realize it, but he is the one who provided Lissla with her beloved dog, Ash, years before. Lissla falls in love with him when she realizes he doesn’t care about rumors, gossip, and looks, and that he genuinely respects for who she is.

Problems arise when Lissla is unable to talk to Ossin about her past…

Ms. McKinley’s writing is melodic and very lyrical, but a little superfluous. She writes in metaphors and analogies, something that I had to get accustomed to. I wouldn’t say that her writing is fabulous or that the actual happenings of the book pulls readers in; more than anything, I would say that Lissla’s journey in overcoming her pain is what compels the reader to finish the story.

If I had been able to decode Ms. McKinley’s writing style a little easier, I would have enjoyed the read much more, but because the writing style and tone of the book wasn’t my cup of tea, I give this read a B-.

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