Online Discussion


this book is based on Charles Perrault's "Donkeyskin", and is much darker than McKinley's other books. A large portion could be considered outright depressing. Sensitive people, and parents who like sheltering their children, may wish to avoid it.


"A wonderful story , wonderfully told."
San Diego Union-Tribune

"Award-winning author McKinley turns her storytelling acumen and stylistic grace toward an adult audience . . . A classic journey-tale and a parable for modern times."
Library Journal


"A fierce and beautiful story of rage and compassion, betrayal and loyalty, damage and love ... A fairy tale for adults, one you'll never forget."
Alice Hoffman, bestselling author of Turtle Moon.

"I did so much enjoy Robin McKinley's Deerskin ... I respect her writing and reread her contantly, finding new perceptions each time."
Anne McCaffery, bestselling author of Damia's Children.

"An enormously powerful novel ... dream-like, urgent, inexplicable ... Robin McKinley has created a world where nightmare and hope exist side by side."
Patricia A. McKillip, author of The Sorceress and the Cygnet.



(From the back of the 1994 Ace paperback edition)

As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee for safety from her father's wrath. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar unlocks a door to a world of magic, where she finds adventure beyond her wildest dreams...

"How like her mother she is!" "She is the perfect image of her mother!"

She found herself trembling, and her father's hand weighed on her more and more till she thought she would go mad, and there before all the people staring at her, try to gnaw her hand off at the wrist, like an animal in a trap.

A princess trapped in a terrifying nightmare.
A king beloved by his people - but feared by his own daughter.
A world of uncertainty and evil.
A journey of hope and discovery.


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