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The Stone Fey (Damar)

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Maddy has been roaming the hills of Damar with her sheep since she was a girl. The Hills hold everything she desires: her family; her beloved dog, Aerlich - and soon, her fiancé, Donal, who has been away for a year. But one evening a lamb is lost. And when Maddy returns to the Hills to find it, she discovers something else the Hills possess - something that will change her ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Nov 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: adults
Shelves: fantasy

I have no idea who decided to make this a picture book. It is a perfectly fine short story in McKinley's usual style; i.e. not decipherable by little kids. Even her YA novels I found more enjoyable as an adult. I can't imagine a younger child following sentences like, by its individual geography the land was a little more arable than much of what lay near it. The pages are mostly full text with only occasional "illustrations" between them, and the the illustrations were more like paintings inspi
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A standalone story set in Damar, where you'll find family, love, magic, and sheep, all illustrated wonderfully.
Rachel Brown
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A short story that was made into a picture book. I can't imagine why, as this delicately eerie tale of a young woman who falls in love with? is seduced by? is enchanted by? enchants? a stone fey is in no way something that a child would enjoy. It is, however, an intriguing, sophisticated story if you're old enough to appreciate it.
Aug 24, 2009 rated it liked it
I had missed this short story by McKinley in my chronological reading of her works because it was listed separately as a children's book. I picked it up while browsing the library stacks (in YA fiction). This is certainly no tale for young children. A young woman shepherds her sheep over rocky hills and meets a stone fey, and they begin a mysterious and obsessive relationship. McKinley is as obscure as is her tendency, but here she prevents even the other characters in the story from recounting ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Why my dear Robin, why?

This story was beyond boring. The writing was convoluted and hard to follow. The plot was all over the place and the characters were not fleshed out well. This to me really came across as a short story that she never bothered to finish and went ahead and published anyway. Best to just pass on this one.
MB (What she read)
Oct 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: wishlist, art-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
The dog is the best character.

It's hard to have a strong opinion on this because to me there was . . . nothing . . . there? Maddy has some characterization but it's so one-sided and holey that she was hard for me to connect and empathize with. The entirety of her relationship with this fey is written so bloody vaguely if you didn't read between the lines you would think they just took a few walks, he talked about plants, and she sat next to him mostly feeling awkward. He barely gets any actual p
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
First off, this book is a picture book for teens (which I applaude!) The watercolor paintings and sketches are really engulfing and nearly got this story up to a three star!

That said the actual story is fairly blah. Somewhat typical girl meets strange elf guy, and falls in love with him, even though she's already pretty much betrothed to a guy she choose, and already has plans to start a life together with him, has their farm planned out and everything.

I really dislike books that make me feel

Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Maddy loves the Hills of Damar where she has grown up tending her sheep. She dreams of marrying her childhood sweetheart, Donal, and having a farm of her own. While Donal is off to make a fortune for their marriage, however, Maddy is strangely introduced to a stone fey and is soon captivated by his strange, earthly charms.This was a great, quick read that held my attention and left my thoughts spinning long after the story was through. I would like to find out if McKinley based this on an Irish ...more
Lisa Wolf
Robin McKinley's fans will want to read this, if for no other than reason than to have read as much of her writing as possible. This short tale was okay but not spectacular -- and we know that McKinley's best works truly do rise to the level of spectacular. "The Stone Fey" is set in Damar, but that's largely irrelevant. Don't read this expecting to reconnect with the beloved worlds of The Blue Sword or Hero & The Crown.
May 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Kris Sellgren
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this evocative and beautifully written tale from Robin McKinley, one of my favorite writers. Maddy is a shepherd in the hill country of Damar, where everyday life occasionally brushes against the magical. She is strangely drawn to a stone fey she meets, a type of fey so-called for its gray skin, despite her love for the farmer she plans to marry next year. McKinley weaves the magic and the mundane into a whole cloth of romance, shot through with brilliant strands of landscape and longing ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Despite picture book format, this is a short story best suited for young adult readers. It is haunting in its vagueness. It holds few ties to Damar, mentioning some plants, a bird and hinting at a wizard I assume is Luthe. It didn't resonate with me as the Damar novels did.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another lovely, mind-twisty story from Robin McKinley. Normally I feel unfulfilled with short stories, but this one was just right!
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Quick read. Wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it ended rather abruptly without much resolution. Almost like she intended a longer story but couldn’t figure out where to go with it.
Cassandra White
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lovely book with a captivating narrative and beautiful illustrations.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't get it. It was beautifully illustrated, and a cute story, but I just didn't get it.
Blow Pop
Jul 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-lit
I'm going to agree with some of the other reviewers of this book. In that I don't like that it was made a picture book. It would have been fine just being a short story by itself.

Though I do have to say, the pictures were nice. And gave me a better idea of what the stone fey looked like (because honestly I was picturing it being like a thing out of Minecraft).

Normally, I'm very drawn to stories about fey. Because for some weird reason they enthrall me. This one was just kind of so-so. I mean yes
Alicia Stevens
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Maddy spends her days herding sheep and day-dreaming about the day when her and her boyfriend Donald will own their own farm and property; but while Donald is away earning money, Maddy finds that her grandmother's stories have more truth to them than she realized. One evening, when a lamb goes missing, Maddy goes deeper into the Hills of Damar to find it, and when she does she also discovers a gray creature called a Stone Fey, just like the one's in grandmother's stories. When Maddy starts spend ...more
Faith Fishcrazy
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
BTW this is a Damar book, fellow Damar fans. All that we know is that it happens after The Hero and the Crown.
Very interesting... The story would have been fine without the pictures. At the same time, I would be lying if I said that they ruined the book--I enjoyed them. The outcome is not what one is generally lead to expect in todays fiction trend, and that was refreshing. Should have been listed as YA instead of children's at my library, but then so should so many "children's" books. For one,
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I glanced at some of the other reviews that said they found the book in the children's section of their library. Mine had it in the young adult section, but it certainly looks like a kids book based on the size and illustrations.

The artwork was beautiful, and I think it helped me to get into the mood of the book. It's really more of an illustrated short story; I read it in less than an hour.

If you are unfamiliar with this style of fantastical, otherworldly writing then the story might be hard
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Stone Fey is a little book by Robin McKinley, set in Damar, as in The Hero and the Crown. I was requesting some other of her books and this one popped up in the search and I said, "Okay, I'll read that one too."

Like I said, it's a little book. Maddy is a shepherdess and is waiting for her fiancee Donal to come back from a year of working away to save up for their home. She loses a sheep one day and it is returned to her by a stone fey, Fel, a rare magical creature that lives in the Hills be
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: yafantasy
I was a little bemused by this book. I'm not sure who the audience is. From the outside, it looks like a childern's picture book. But the inside reads like an adult (or possibly young adult) short story someone illustrated beautifully and then published as it's own little book. I love the concept, but I've never seen anything like it before. It was shelved in the "J Fic" section of my library, which was completely inappropriate, but I found it anyway because I'm trying to work my way through all ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although it's been a few years since reading it last, I have read it several times. Not a long story and yes, minimalist (appropriate term?). We were talking about this book at work the other day and I recommended it as a fine example of Robin McKinley's writing without being very long. I couldn't help but notice several other reviewers did not like this book. Harumph.

Beautifully written; yes it is not really a children's story although it can be read aloud to children. Like the best tales often
Jenn Doyle
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
With this short story the reader gets to briefly step back into Aerin's world. Maddy is the oldest daughter who loves the hill surrounding the small farm her family owns. One day as she's looking for a lost lamb from her sheep herd, so meets a stone fey. Robin McKinley always manages to convey so very much with her stories. I don't know what the intention was for this, but to me it read as the hills loved Maddy as much as she loved them. And when she met a personification of those hills it fille ...more
Karen Brennan
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book about Damar that I never even knew existed, so I was surprised and delighted to find it at our library. It is a short book, and from the style of the printing along with the occasional pictures, I can understand why it was in the children's section. However, I agree with several of the other reviewers - this book belongs in the YA section, not the kids section. The themes are too adult.

Robin McKinley's writing is beautiful, as always, but there is something particularly haunting
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is in the Young Adult section in our library--right where it should be. Maddy, the main character gets involved in a secret relationship with a stone fey (a mythical creature right out of her grandmother's tales) which takes her from her family and the ideals she is working for. Not a book that you can read quickly because McKinley writes in a twisty worded way, " I'll write Ifgold, so that he can look us out a place to stay." Huh?? It's a book you must think about afterward to really ...more
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting little fairy story (of sorts) about a young woman who is working to earn money so she and her fiance, who is also away at work to earn money, so they can be married and buy their own farm. She takes care of a sheep herd, and goes out with them, and her herding dog, every day. Things go well until she meets a stone fey, who fills her mind and heart with his cold beauty and makes her drift away from family and plans and all that she thought she cared about. I like the way McKinley reso ...more
Genevra Littlejohn
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Strange and sad. McKinley often writes stories about women loving men that they can't have, whether it's mortality or species that gets in the way, and this is one such. Her others are all hopeful--Aerin might yet find Luthe, when her tenure as Queen is up, and Ruen finds her stagman when her duty is done. But Maddy is different from these women, and she makes her choice, and while it's the *right* one, it's still painful to witness.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I don't think this was it. Set in Damar from Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown, it seems to take place in time between the two. There are some small references that an avid McKinley fan would see, but there really isn't any connection beyond that. Unfortunately the story seems to lack in some details which makes the story confusing in some regards and leaves you wanting more. I still enjoyed it though.
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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 about Robin McKinley...

Other Books in the Series

Damar (4 books)
  • The Blue Sword (Damar, #1)
  • The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #2)
  • Imaginary Lands
  • A Pool in the Desert

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