Wow, has it really been almost a year since I wrote on here? My most sincere apologies! But perhaps you would like me to get on with the book?
Before I begin, I would just like to make it clear that I’m going to give away a lot of stuff in this post. So if you haven’t read Spindle’s End yet, don’t read this. But if you have read it, and want to know what a fellow reader has to say about it, or if you haven’t read and don’t mind if all the surprises are spoiled, by all means, continue.
Spindle’s End is about a fairy who can talk to animals and her adopted niece who has the same gift, but isn’t a fairy. She’s the princess that a wicked fairy cursed on her names day. On her twenty-first birthday, or anytime until then, she will prick her finger on a spindle, fall into a poisoned sleep, and die. To prevent this, or at least delay it as long as possible, the queen’s right hand fairy sends her away with a small town fairy named Katriona to be raised as a village girl so that Pernicia, the evil fairy, will not be able to find her. The princess is named Rosie by Katriona, and as she grows up she befriends Peony, the beautiful wainwright’s niece, and Narl, the reclusive blacksmith, happily oblivious to the fact that she is the cursed princess she feels so sorry for. But as her twenty-first birthday draws nearer, she is made aware of her lineage and a plan is thought up of how she might escape her doom. But the plan, as all plans seem to do, goes very wrong, and it is up to Rosie and Narl to rescue Peony who, after masquerading as the princess and pricked her finger on the spindle, was stolen away by Pernicia.
Now that was quite a lengthy summary, but I’m not very good at summarizing. This book, as a whole, is not one of my favorite books. It was simply too long. It felt to me that certain things were in need of abridging, and other things could have been left out all together. I was also confused during a quite a few scenes because the writing, though written in the style of Elizabeth Gaskell, wasn’t very clear in its presentation. I also didn’t like a few other smaller things. For one, I had trouble growing close to any of the characters. I had the most trouble with Narl because he isn’t rally introduced as someone who actually has anything to do with the main plot until the last hundred pages. Rowland, Narl’s apprentice, could have been left out and the book would have been absolutely fine (and shorter), in my opinion. He only served as a love interest for Peony, and she was a strong enough character to not need him to influence her decisions. And the romance between Rosie and Narl was also something the book would have been better without. As I said before, you don’t really get to know Narl until the end, even though Rosie finds out her feelings about him about half way through the book, and not to mention he’s I don’t know how much older than her. I think, actually Peony was the character I liked the best, aside from the animals. The animals were my favorite in this story. Even though they talked to Rosie, they weren’t very human like. Each animal had its own personality, however, that fit in with the animals type. Flinxe was decidedly catlike in his speech and mannerisms but was also uniquely Flinxe.
Perhaps I judge too harshly, and I did enjoy reading the book. Despite my problems with it, I could not put it down. It isn’t exactly a book I will be coming back to in the near future, but I think I might reread it eventually. However, I thought McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown was a better book.