I read this book when I was much younger and it has stayed with me ever since. I'm definitely to the point of being so in love with this I ignore, orI read this book when I was much younger and it has stayed with me ever since. I'm definitely to the point of being so in love with this I ignore, or don't notice, any flaws.
The heroine is probably my favorite character of all time.
The story is rather simple and straightforward, but told with so much heart that it is my go-to book to re-read whenever I don't have any new books on hand, or if I just want the comfort of a familiar story.
One thing I really appreciate about Robin McKinley is that there is rarely just the one love interest. I don't really know how to describe it, but her writing style is simple and keeps the romance feeling natural without too much build up and angst, yet it is complex as well because she rarely has just girl meets boy and they marry (although that's part of it). ...more
I remember absolutely loving this book when I was younger. Recently, I started rereading my childhood favorites and this was the one I was most exciteI remember absolutely loving this book when I was younger. Recently, I started rereading my childhood favorites and this was the one I was most excited about re-reading.
This book was as witty and light-hearted as I remembered. I would recommend it to any sassy pre-teen girl. It has a great moral of challenging the expectations laid out for you and finding that you might have to break them to create your own happiness, while still remaining light and entertaining. The way the author lays out the wrongs of gender norms is refreshing. One of my favorite examples of this in the book is when Kazul, the dragon that takes Cimorene under her wing (punny, right?), explains that the ruler of dragons is always called "King," no matter the gender. "'King' is the name of the job. It doesn't matter who holds it."
Now that I'm older, there are some faults of the book that bother me and it's hard for me to decide whether it's in the sake of simplicity that it's written like that (which would make it totally excusable since it is a children's book) or whether it's something that could be changed without altering the accessibility. One of them is how often it is explained that Cimorene is not a typical princess and how "typical princess" is so closely related to "dimwit." It is repeated so much that, at any suggestion of Cimorene having common sense, she is praised for being so unprincess-like and reasonable. Yet Cimorene holds the same expectations for princes and princesses that everyone else seems to hold. I would have liked to have seen Cimorene challenging her own pre-conceptions since she so easily broke out of others. Again, maybe asking for a little bit more subtlety and depth isn't suitable for this format, but I thought it would enrich the book a bit.
Another thing that bothered me is that Cimorene came across as sort of mean to me. She writes people off really fast because of them being princesses (etc.). She also has a heightened sense of importance for her own activities, to the point where she actually forgets about the stone prince and leaves him in a dark cave for a night. The thought of being totally lost in the dark terrifies me! She seems so easily annoyed and bothered. ...more