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Exchange of Gifts

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,105 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
A runaway princess and a poor young boy try to make a new life for themselves without revealing their pasts or the magical powers they possess.
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Roc Hardcover (first published June 28th 1995)
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Deborah O'Carroll
A bite-sized fantasy novella (complete with illustrations) which I quite enjoyed. :) It reminded me a little of The Princess and the Goblin, and The Ordinary Princess, though less fairy-tale-ish, and more realistic/older. (Like YA instead of Children's?)

But it did have an intriguing fantasy element which I liked -- the way the Gifts were woven in was really neat. The mysterious sort of twist to it was interesting.

Meanne (the heroine) was quite well written (although I kind of thought she was a
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
(Fantasy 1995) This is a very short book (ninety pages) about the princess Meanne, a young princess who runs away from home to avoid an unpleasant arranged marriage. She makes her way to an abandoned house in the forest of her father's kingdom, and begins her life. The next day she is joined by a young man who has also left his home. They set up the house, combining their skills (he is a hard worker and good salesman, she is able to grow plants, fruits and vegetables quickly) and learn to live a ...more
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-lit
Interesting little fantasy story, but not up to McCaffrey's usual par. I was disappointed there wasn't more to this book.
Austin Wright
Simple Fun Innocent Fantasy.
Jovan Trujillo
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how short and sweet this little story was. The gift exchange was gross, but everything else made me want to live in that little hut in the forest.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Delightful short story. Reminiscent of Tamora Pierce. Beautiful illustrations.
A princess named Anastasia runs away from home and fakes her death to escape a marriage that is about to be forced upon her by her father the king. She finds herself in a run down hut and woefully unprepared for the life of an independent with no servants to wait upon her or skill to make up the lack. That’s when the boy Wisp stumbles into her life. A waif of a boy, he’s a runaway too and the two soon help each other to survive in the backwoods alone. Until the secrets they have kept from each o ...more
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Stephanie by: Naomi Smith
   Let me preface this with the fact that I have not read much, if anything, by Anne McCaffrey before this book. It is a short little tale, which I found to be teasing at a larger interesting world full of Gifts. The build-up of the story, of Meanne and Wisp meeting and getting along together, was well-paced and interesting. It kept me guessing as to who Wisp was, and by the reveal I had pretty on-target ideas about his Gift.

   However, after the build-up the denouement was too quick for me, an
Cana Elene (
Princess Meanne has run away, going to the only place she feels is safe: the old charcoal maker’s cabin in the middle of the woods. It isn’t long before Wisp comes wandering into her life. She can’t help but feel that there is more to him that meets the eyes, but she has no idea what. Both have secrets, but can they look past the secrets and find the support and love they both desire?
I love this short novella. It shows the strength a person can have when they have to make a decision that is hard
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd call it a short story instead of a short novel. Once you take into account the wide, illustrated border on every page, it's more like half the length it seems. But that's okay. Short stories are good. However, my biggest beef with the book is full of spoilers. (view spoiler) ...more
Julia Miele
Swallowed almost in a single sitting, this novelette was really just a snack between two slightly more substantial books, a tid-bit I picked up at the Wellesley Free Library last week while the kids and I were on spring break visiting Estuardo.

Though lacking real substance, still, it was a lovely interlude, a thoroughly engaging love story about a runaway princess and a runaway nobleman, each with a distinctive supernatural "gift" not properly appreciated beyond their own relationship.

I'm somewh
Linda Layne
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Exchange of Gifts, while obviously written in the typical Anne McCaffrey style, is not about dragons. In stead, it is about an arranged marriage between a girl named Meanne and a Baron. The story unfolds evenly and has several delightful turns and twists. Suspense runs throughout the book. And there are even moments when the reader, if properly engrossed in the story, will find him or herself warning Meanne to be careful.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have always been a McCaffrey
Douglas Milewski
An Exchange of Gifts (1995) by Anne McCaffey is a very sweet YA fantasy romance. My copy has illustrations by Pat Morrissey. In this short tale, a princess run away to live in the wood and pursue her true gift, gardening. The story itself is fairy tale like, existing out of time and space. The twists and turns prove simple and easy to follow. Forget realism.

There's nothing special about the story. I made the mistake of putting it down, so it stayed unfinished for a week. Likewise, there's nothin
Lenita Sheridan
This is an excellent book which explores the gifts of its characters. It is not a long book, but is a good read and I would recommend it for children and young adults (as well as adults). Since the book is short, I will keep this review short. The only negative thing I have to say is that if the heroine's gift is for growing things (plants), why did she not grow potatoes? (The two characters were hungry.)
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book yesterday. Once started it was very easy to read all the way through. I liked the concept of it being kind of like a story book for older readers, however I was extremely unimpressed as to the content of the book. Too many thoughts and phrases were ambiguous and confusing. The story left off at a barely resolved ending, and yet I did not care that it was over. I had no longing for a fuller and better ending, I just thought "well this can go back to the library now."
Apr 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I think anyone should be able to read this book and enjoy it. It's very short and doesn't take long to read at all. The writing is very well done. I really liked both of the characters. I was actually disappointed by how short is was. Just when I was so in love with everything and never wanted to but the book down, it ended. The place where she ended it surprised me, because it could have, from there, turned into a fantastic novel. But it was still very well done and I enjoyed it.
Lyl Lyl
I am usually a big fan of McCaffrey, but this book was only ok. It wasn't bad, just, super predictable, almost entirely a list of chores, and no real suspense or build up to anything major. Mediocre was never a word I thought I would use to describe anything written by Anne McCaffrey until this book.
Tiyrna Nightschild
Cute short story. Wish for a continuation, though..... the world and the setting in this book was really nice, and I loved the idea of Gifts.... But since it's a short story, probably won't be a second book. *cry*
Nov 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, youth
This was an interesting story about a girl seeking refuge from an unwanted marriage and lifestyle. She makes unlikely friend and meets with an unlikely outcome. It's very much in fashion with old fashion fairy tales.

It was shelved in the young adult section.
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should say that I love this little story! It's a sweet story of two people in hiding finding and learning how to live with each other. It's quick and satisfying, a romance, so don't be too disappointed if you are expecting something else.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anne McCaffrey and it has been a lot of fun to read her older, less known work. This story is like a little fairy tale with a very McCaffrey twist. The heroine is strong and independent and learns to form a trusting bond with her new, young companion.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful, short fantasy novel about two people who find each other and help each other grant a simple desire of happiness and freedom. The story is a nice little premise and I enjoy reading the steps they have to go through to survive when starting with a abandoned cottage and a few odd ends.
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Cute, fast read.
Celina and Don
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
This was a cute little short story for me. I enjoyed the fairy tale like story. The main complaint - way too short for me. Different than her other books.
Deborah Canaday
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome as always! I want to know more about this world.
Johnny Bennett
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short novella was interesting but seemed vaguely familiar. My wife felt the same way. Still, it entertained for an hour.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy
fun little story
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, romance
Princess escapes her family to be able to make user of her special gift with plants. She meets a young man who provides protection and support with an unexpected gift of his own.
Kristin L.
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE this story! It is a sweet, fairy tale that was written for a granddaughter. A timeless story.
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho
More about Anne McCaffrey...
“Scuse me, lady, but I'm Wisp, 'cause that's all I am, a wisp of a thing, not much good for changing a thing in the world," said the boy for when he stepped inside, the light from the grimy window gave her a good view of his anxious, pointed little face.” 4 likes
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