Robin McKinley: the original fan

Note well!

Robin McKinley is not affiliated with the site, apart from having sent occasional mail through her agent. She has her own site and blog and forum. Also Facebook and Twitter.

Amanda Ridder, the original author of this site, disappeared for a while, so I have copied the site and made a mailing list.

A Letter From Robin McKinley

regarding Amanda's Web site.

Another Letter From Robin McKinley

regarding mine.

About Robin McKinley

Biographical information collected from her books, speeches, and short biographies, as well as information about how to contact her and order her books.

Mailing list

Leave comments, ask questions, or participate in discussions about Robin McKinley and her books. For website comment use this livejournal page.


Damar timeline and random comments

Old Discussion, Questions, and Comments

Old discussion of Robin McKinley and her books. None of the links for responding work. Use the mailing list for discussion.

Readers' Survey results



A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast

This first novel by McKinley sets the precedent for fine characterization and storytelling that she demonstrates throughout her work. In Beauty, she takes a pleasant, familiar story and makes it vivid, detailed, and entrancing. (1978)


The Door in the Hedge

This book features four fairy-tale type short stories: "The Stolen Princess", "The Princess and the Frog", "The Hunting of the Hind", and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." All are told with exceptional detail and flavor. (1981)


The Blue Sword

The first book written about the land of Damar, this novel features Harry, a somewhat awkward and unusual young woman whose destiny leads her far from the familiar but sedate Homeland, into a vivid land of magic, kings, mages, and swords. As always, Robin McKinley's storytelling abilities make the story surprisingly believable and the writing wonderfully melodic. (1982)


The Hero and the Crown

This novel was written as a prequel to The Blue Sword, set hundreds of years earlier, but featuring the familiar character Aerin. This is the story of her painful youth as she fulfills the destiny that earns her a place as a hero and a legend. The magic that Robin McKinley weaves in this book earned her the Newbery Medal. (1984)


Imaginary Lands

Short story collection (1985)


The Outlaws of Sherwood

Everyone knows the story of Robin Hood, outlaw in Sherwood forest. The tale has been told and retold countless times, but Robin McKinley adds texture and characterization to the story that other authors have not. In her story, the characters become real people with real struggles and personalities, and the story becomes richer and more detailed. (1988)



Illustrated (by Donna Ruff) children's book. "A child and a new puppy work through the difficult initial adjustments and soon belong to each other." (1992)



Robin McKinley again demonstrates her art as a storyteller with this terrifyingly powerful fairytale. In Deerskin, Princess Lissar grows up to demonstrate the very same beauty as her mother. So similar did they appear that the king turned in wrath on his daughter after his wife died, and Lissar must flee her home. This vivid story is full of emotion and strength, and McKinley illustrates both of them perfectly. (1993)

NOTE: 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 Knot in the Grain

And Other Stories

McKinley's latest book features five short stories, four of which are set in Damar. Revisit Luthe and meet new characters in "The Healer", "The Stagman", "Touk's House", "Buttercups", and "A Knot in the Grain". (1996)


Rose Daughter

With this book McKinley probably becomes the only author of two books telling the story of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and her two sisters go into the country with their father after disaster strikes, but the world, characters, and story behind the Beast are all different. (1997)


The Stone Fey

This is an illustrated children's book version of "The Stone Fey", a short story originally published in Imaginary Lands, an anthology edited by McKinley. Illustrated by John Clapp. (1998)


Spindle's End

Robin does "Sleeping Beauty" (2000)


Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits

Stories by Robin and Peter Dickinson (2002)



Robin does vampires, with overtones of "Buffy" worldbuilding and Anita Blake. Strongly recommended. (2003)




Designed and written by Amanda J. Ridder
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