Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spindle's End” as Want to Read:
Spindle's End
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spindle's End (Folktales #3)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  15,341 ratings  ·  1,010 reviews
The New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning author tells a brilliant tale of a sumptuous world (New York Times Book Review).

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 spi
...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Ace Trade (first published May 22nd 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spindle's End, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spindle's End

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Renee
Spindle's End (a retelling of Sleeping Beauty) is odd in a lot of respects, and therefore a lot of people aren't going to like it. To outline these:

1. Most of the book is narration. There is very little in the way of dialogue, even when it comes to things that most other authors would have left for characters to say.

2. It is hard to say who the main character really is. The person who you would assume to be the central character at the beginning is very peripheral by the end.

3. While based on a
...more
Moira Russell
This was a really adorable book, altho I think you have to be in the right mood for it. When I started reading it I bogged down a little in an atmosphere which I found sort of Fucking Twee, and then I went back to it later and found it much easier to get into. I really liked the characterizations of Rosie and Peony, especially how they were both good characters without being wimpy or Mary Sues; and I really liked their friendship -- it's a v Chloe-liked-Olivia kind of book. It was interesting to ...more
Jared
Spindle's End is a re-telling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I love many of McKinley's other "re-telling" stories, like Beauty and The Outlaws of Sherwood. The first three-quarters of this book are no exception.

The characters are engaging. The description of life in the little community where Rose (Sleeping Beauty) grows up is so idyllic that you want the book to keep going just so you can read about the town.

Unfortunately, the last quarter almost does the book in. The magic in this book show
...more
Melissa Rudder
Robin McKinley's young reader retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, Spindle's End, smells good. It's made up of those yellowing pages that you run your fingers down and feel the soft fibers of, and as you thumb through the pages it fans your face with the invigorating smell of book. And that's probably the best part of it.

I read Spindle's End because I read McKinley's Beauty in seventh grade and can vaguely remember loving it. I didn't love Spindle's End. I did grow to love some of the charact
...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oct 13, 2007 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fairy tale lovers
A fun, greatly expanded retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with Briar Rose going against stereotype by being a strapping young woman with a love for animals and the outdoors, and no regard for her beautiful blonde hair.
I really enjoyed the story until the confrontation with the evil fairy Pernicia. Then Robin pulls her familiar trick of a foggy vague battle and some unexplained magic to get us through to the end. Bad Robin!
Oh, well, most readers will forgive her. I, though, choose to dock her a sta
...more
Macha
this was really disappointing. especially after such a fine beginning, with the imaginative world-building, the detail on just everything gloriously written, and some promising characters. and she's clearly engaged in taking apart the fairy tale to take a close look, something that always gets my vote.

unfortunately, it doesn't last. too bad. that whole headlong flight of Katriona's with the baby, and how the animals buy in, it's just lovely; i settled in. but Katriona's issues fade into Rosie's
...more
Anne
This could have been an interesting retelling of Sleeping Beauty. McKinley had some good ideas, but the plot rambled along at such a boring pace that it's hard to remember what they were. Long-winded and useless descriptions of every mundane thing you can imagine were a huge part of what bogged the book down. I think if it had been chopped down to 150 or 200 pages, it would have made a pretty decent story. At 400 plus pages? Not so much.

I also thought that the fact that her love interest was 20
...more
Gloryseeker33
Jun 12, 2008 Gloryseeker33 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All ages
I have read a number of books by this author and really liked all of them, but this one is a standout for me. It is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, but goes far beyond the limitations of the original tale. The author manages to create a delightful, suspend-disbelief magical kingdom and populates the story with fully rounded characters who are both entertaining and engage the reader's sympathies, along with a plot line that departs from fairy tale formula just enough to keep us guessing ...more
Shauna
There was much I liked about this book, and much I was frustrated with. First I felt it was too long. This is a bad sign. If the book is irresistible, I don't mind if it goes on and on. But this one was tricky, full of rogue magic that changed things willy nilly and was hard to control, characters that likewise changed prominence back and forth throughout the story, endless animal names without helpful reference points (how I am supposed to remember which was a dog, fox, cat, horse, owl, whateve ...more
Ali
Mar 29, 2007 Ali rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I grew up reading Robin Mckinley, and periodically like to revisit her works. While Beauty was the first book I read by her (and the first book I reread until the spine wore out), and her Damar books hold a special fascination for me, there is something about Spindle's End that keeps me coming back.

Maybe that's because Mckinley is more open with the workings of magic in this world; in other books magic is a furtive, secretive thing, like a wild animal. We get more of fairies and magicians and ba
...more
Kate
Oct 21, 2012 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tween and teen girls, people that like fairy stories with grubby princesses
I can't believe I've not read this since I started using Goodreads!

I love this book, it's such a beautiful, gentle story, McKinley at her best. The plot is obviously based around the Sleeping Beauty fairy story, but really, it only starts like it (fairy curses princess to prick her finger on a spindle and die on her 21st birthday).

McKinley writes a tale of a no-nonsense girl, Rosie who grows up in a small village, the guardian of two fairies, not knowing that she is the princess. She is the lea
...more
Becky
I feel bad giving this book so few stars. But I honestly can't say that I enjoyed it. I actually skipped parts, and the darn thing was only 300 or so pages long.

McKinley is a good writer; she produces gorgeous and very funny prose, she's a master worldbuilder, and she creates believable characters and complex plots. I would have happily read the short story version of this novel. But I got bored at about the hundred page mark.

The reason I got bored is that this novel began with Rosie's birth (as
...more
Jennifer
I read Beauty (retelling of Beauty and the Beast) by this author when I was at BYU and really enjoyed it. My friends Robin & Camille lent me this book and The Hero and the Crown (which I will read next).

This is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It was great! It had a lot of depth and characters in it, plus some fun and sad/happy twists.

I love juvenile literature because it avoids the raunchy stuff that most adult literature has. This was not an "easy" read though. It was full of rich language
...more
Sophie
This is total comfort reading for me. Like being wrapped in a big fluffy blanket of fairy tales. Fairy tale retellings are the best. All the romance and fantasy with much less of the sexism.

The magic in this book is a little woojy, and maybe that was McKinley's intention, but it makes it hard for me to visualize the scenes that are mostly about magic. The setting the rest of the time is wonderful and easy to picture.

Evil contains the seeds of its own destruction. Family is less about blood than
...more
Kat
This book is an adaptation of the Sleeping Beauty legend. Imagine what would happen to a real girl if she were "blessed" with all of the gifts the fairies could imagine for her, and her gifts actually scared her? It was definitely an intriguing take on the story. As with all stories by McKinley, it made me think.
Melody
Hypnotic, tangled and often impenetrable narrative. The briar roses that grow up around the sleepers in this oddly compelling retelling of the Sleeping Beauty legend are a good metaphor for how McKinley's words coil around each other in paths untraceable by me. There are lovely, memorable passages which exist almost independent of the story, one of which I think I'll keep forever.

"What you describe is how it happens to everyone: magic does slide through you, and disappear, and come back later l
...more
rivka
This book has everything that was missing from the same author's Beauty -- not simply a retelling of a classic fairy tale, but a reimagining. The pacing is marvelous, the foreshadowing-without-giving-anything-away spectacular, and the ending brilliant.

The backstory of the fairies and the other supporting characters is lovely -- fantastic yet realistic. The depth of characterizations is excellent.

Absolutely marvelous!
Megan
Jul 08, 2008 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, lovers of fairy tales retold
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I loved this book. Only the odd, disorienting shifts of chronology kept me from giving it five stars. In particular, I love the beast-speech--definitely a gift I'd like to have!--and the complete creation of a believable, realistic, and yet utterly fantastic fantasy world. I love books that make it easy to visualize the story, and I had no trouble at all finding myself in the world of this book.
Laura
Another of Robin McKinley's excellent adaptations of fairy tales, Spindle's End re-envisions Sleeping Beauty with a number of strong female characters and hardly any sleeping.

The bare bones of the well-known story are intact, with Princess Briar-Rose (who has 20 other names that come before that which I couldn't list to save my life) being placed under a curse at her Naming Celebration. Spirited away by a fairy named Katriona, the newly re-christened Rosie is raised in a tiny backwater town as a
...more
Emily Snyder
Spindle's End is one of those delightful fairy tale expansions, and an excellent addition to McKinley's bookshelf.

SPOILER!!!

At the time of its printing, much was made of the fact that the final, IMPORTANT kiss came not only *from* a woman, but *to* a woman as well. Although the kiss is non-romantic, but practical (more like the fairy tale equivalent of the kiss of life), concerned parents need not worry overmuch. However, in the wake of the social changes happening in the world today, parents of
...more
Larisa
I had a hard time getting into this the first time I tried reading it. I think it was the tiny font of the first edition I attempted to read more than anything.

The second time around was pretty much a straight shot. It helps that finished reading Sunshine a few days ago, so that had me craving more McKinley. Now, this novel sucked me right into its world right from the very first page, and it was really one of those novels where the small details really made the story, such as the princess's ou
...more
Ali
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenna St Hilaire
Already impressive for her ability to achieve a variety of moods and styles—her opus ranges from the mythic, ethereal Beauty to the serious, detailed The Hero and The Crown—McKinley further proved her authorial flexibility with Spindle’s End, which is flat-out hilarious. This novel struck me as a four-hundred-page cousin to Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, what with fairy godmothers giving awkward gifts and magic being a quirky, ever-present part of daily life. I was also pleasantly put in m ...more
Jessica
I have so much to say, and not much of it is good. Let's proceed from that statement, shall we?

1. This book is classified as a YA/Teen read. While many teens and young adults could read and even enjoy the novel, I'm surprised that it's not in the adult fiction section of the bookstore. (And by that, I don't mean the romance/erotica- maybe I should just say the fiction section.) Spindle's End is closer to Wicked in terms of length and made-up/fantastical words, so I'm not sure why one is fiction
...more
Adrienne
Spindle’s End isn’t the first book by Robin McKinley that I’ve read. I also read The Hero and the Crown and Beauty and I enjoyed both of them. Beauty is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and Spindle’s End, as you may have guessed, is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I enjoy reading different versions of myths and fairy tales, and this was definitely interesting. However, the main character - “Rosie” in this case, not Briar Rose, like in the Disney version - was kind of annoying to me. I don’t ...more
Carla *Jen7waters*
Oh NOOOOO! This can’t be! Can’t be! My heart aches that I can only give 3 stars to a McKinley book but it takes so long for something important to happen in the story, that I would read a couple of pages and get bored…oh, my heart sobs! I mean, I knew I was going to encounter a quite complex and descriptive extended beginning, because that’s how Robin rolls, but in this one it’s as if this introduction just keeps going and going and going, until eventually it takes over the whole book, and the e ...more
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
E_bookpushers
Review originally posted at: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/04/09/...

Publisher: Ace Books
Publish Date: 2000
How I got this book: Purchased

All the creatures of forest, field and riverbank knew the baby was special. She was the princess Briar-Rose, cursed by the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But Katriona stole her away to the small village where Kat lives with her aunt, and they raise the princess as if she were their own. No other human, not even Rosie herself, knows her true identity.
But
...more
Kirstin
In this feminist retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, author Robin McKinley takes the power away from the prince and puts it squarely in the hands of the cursed princess.

Rosie can remember no other life before coming to live with Aunt and Katriona, two fairies living in a remote corner of the kingdom. Aunt, she has been told, came and fetched her when her parents died suddenly just a week after Katriona returned home from an ill-fated naming ceremony of the year-old princess. She has liv
...more
Supernatural Fairy Tales
I was lucky to get the chance to read this book, developed from one of my favorite fairy tale stories--Sleeping Beauty. McKinley moves this tale from a simple triumphal march from baby to princess into a dense tale of the royal politics and motherhood and growing into your own abilities and strengths. While parts of the story seemed more sketched in, the familial elements were clearly and beautifully drawn.

This is a thick brew, with magic as the flour that brings the entire mix together, across
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fairy Tales Eclectic: Spindle's End Discussion - November 2014 Group Read 22 14 18 hours, 47 min ago  
  • Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1)
  • Zel
  • Silver Birch, Blood Moon
  • Golden (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)
  • Firebird (Fairy Tales #1)
  • Snow White And Rose Red
  • Thornspell
  • The Perilous Gard
  • White as Snow
  • The Rumpelstiltskin Problem
5339
Born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, Robin McKinley grew up an only child with a father in the United States Navy. She moved around frequently as a child and read copiously; she credits this background with the inspiration for her stories.

Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books
...more
More about Robin McKinley...
Beauty (Folktales #1) The Blue Sword (Damar, #2) The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #1) Sunshine Deerskin

Share This Book

“When they finished laughing they were on their way to being not just friends, but the dearest of friends, the sort of friends whose lives are shaped by the friendship.” 122 likes
“Cats were often familiars to workers of magic because to anyone used to wrestling with self-willed, wayward, devious magic--which was what all magic was--it was rather soothing to have all the same qualities wrapped up in a small, furry, generally attractive bundle that...might, if it were in a good mood, sit on your knee and purr. Magic never sat on anybody's knee and purred.” 35 likes
More quotes…