Robin McKinley: Water Tales of Elemental Spirits

Before elsewhere but can t think of where It didn t matter I still liked reading it The rest of the stories just weren t for me But then I m not a big fan of Robin McKinley so it s not really surprising A collection of short stories about creatures of the deep I didn t realize until just before writing this review however that the authors are husband and wife pretty cool Each contributes three stories and overall I think I liked Dickinson s better If I had to rate just the McKinley pieces I d probably just give it two stars Sea Serpent and Kraken were my two favorite stories I liked it well enough that I ll probably read the next one in the series which has a theme of fireI thought it was interesting that none of the main characters except one came from a function family Sad but I guess it fits the fairy tale genre Mermaid Song Loved the ending but had a heartbreaking middle The Sea King s Son Enjoyed some of the elements of the story but a little gushier than I like Sea Serpent Perhaps my favorite story of the compilation Scary monsters adventure magic this one had it all Water Horse My favorite of McKinley s interesting ideas of the guardians and how their magic works Kraken Good story archetypal facing of the unknown It worked out in the end a little better than I would have expected but I was expecting Lovecraft and less Disney A Pool in the Desert This was just weird Sucky home life for the main character who has crazy parents enough that I can understand her desire to leave But I didn t really get why she formed such an attachment for where she was headed nothing particularly good there for her and the pacing in the last two pages was so much faster than earlier that it threw me off McKinley s total shift of momentum left me feeling slightly confused and unhappy about the ending She should have just cut out one or two paragraphs or fleshed them out to a few pages worthRating PG 13 for some mild sexuality Mixed feelings on this one this was one of the times in a short story collection where some stories worked a lot better than others for me I loved The Pool in the Desert which to be fair was the whole reason I picked up this collection since it was a return to Damar and The Sea King s Son and Kraken was interesting but the other three weren t really my thing. Associated with the element of water Each story is as different from the others as are the creatures themselves but all are vividly imagined and powerfully told in the way that their many admirers have learnt to expect from these two write.

This was the first time I ve ever really read a short story collection so it was a new and interesting experience for me Each story is uniue and from what I can tell takes place in an entirely different universe from the last Going through each story was a little bit of a roller coaster because one would leave me feeling really satisfied and the next I wasn t so happy with but then I loved the one after that Whew I need to lie down And there s a really cool but simple artistic thing done at the beginning of each tale that I thought was a neat detailThere was a lovely uick way of indicating to the reader which author Robin McKinley or Peter Dickinson had penned the story that followed in the fo Damar Damar Damar Damar Damar and a character named Ruth DamarSo yes this collection had a new Damar story which I loved but I thought the collection as a whole was ind of erratic but that is maybe partly due to the fact that I adore Robin McKinley and don t have the same reaction to Peter Dickinson The three McKinley stories in the collection were my favorite and I ended up skimming one of Dickinson s The Sea Serpent because I couldn t get into it McKinley simply paints images in my head that refuse to go away no matter how long it has been since I have read the story that sparked the paintingDefinitely worth reading if you love McKinley and if you want to give the others a try I think Mermaid Song is his strongest offering in the volume by Robin McKinley and Peter DickinsonThis is the first in a planned series called Elementals all consisting of short stories by Dickinson and McKinley The second Fire has just come out So naturally I decided it was time for a re readOverall I really enjoyed the book While the opening story Mermaid Song by Dickinson did bother me slightly it all seemed very expected somehow repressive society child rebelling against said society etc etc the second story The Sea King s Son by McKinley was in the best fairy tale Six stories by married authors Peter Dickinson and Robin McKinley to varying degrees themed around the element of water Overall I liked McKinley s better no surprise there but Dickinson s Kraken was uite good too making up for the dullness of his Sea Serpent The last three stories were better than the first threeThe final story Pool. What magical beings inhabit earth's waters Some are almost familiar as mer people; some as strange as the thing glimpsed only as a golden eye in a pool at the edge of Damar's Great Desert Kalarsham where the mad god Geljdreth rules; or the.

In the Desert is set tangentially in the world of McKinley s Damar novels It and Dickinson s first story Mermaid Song both felt as if they would have been better as longer novellas They also had in common that the role of water was not particularly essential to the story Even when I admire Dickinson s stories I don t love them in the visceral way I love McKinley s so this collection is a little uneven for me Of Dickinson s contributions I like Kraken the most of McKinley smmm hard to say because I love all three but maybe A Pool in the Desert because it s partly set in Damar I couldn t bear to give it any lower than 4 I think it deserves a 3List of storiesMermaid Song DickinsonThe Sea King s Son McKinleySea Serpent DickinsonWater Horse McKinleyKraken DickinsonA Pool in the Desert McKinleyAll the stories were pretty cool But the last one most of all I absolutely fell in love with A Pool in the Desert My favourite story in this collection by far The contrast was spectacular The writing was masterful McKinley jolted me out of a grey tedious sad everyday life to one of spice splendour and suspense ooh alliteration okay maybe not so much the suspense At any rate I thought the way she explored reality vs fantasy and how you can step out and into either to be fantastic Zasharan sounds really ahem cool I loved how it endedComing in second is Water Horse and Kraken which makes McKinley my preferred author for this book not that it really matters but I saw some other reviewers doing it so I felt that the magic in Water Horse wasn t well explained Yes i understand that this is a short story but I really don t get how it works It No Biggy! kind of messes with me I likeneed tonow stuff like thatFor any fan of McKinleyDickinson or for any lover of fantasy or for any person looking for masterful short storiesOh and I realised afterward A Pool in the Desert was set in Damar which was the same for the Blue Sword I did read The Blue Sword but very long ago and I didn t really enjoy it There is so much great YA fantasy fiction now but it was fun to go back to where it all started for me A collection of six stories themed around water written well but not exactly connecting with me The Sea King s Son was easily my favorite with its sweet earnest romance I feel very sure that I ve read this. Unknowable immense Kraken dark beyond the darkness of the deepest ocean who will one day rise and rule the world Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson names well nown to lovers of fantasy have given us six stories of the fabulous creatures.

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Peter Dickinson also a writer and with whom she co wrote Water Tales of Elemental Spirits in 2001 and two lurchers crossbred sighthoundsOver the years she has worked as an editor and transcriber 1972 73 research assistant 1976 77 bookstore clerk 1978 teacher and counselor 1978 79 editorial assistant 1979 81 barn manager 1981 82 free lance editor 1982 85 and full time writer Other than writing and reading books she divides her time mainly between walking her hellhounds gardening cooking playing the piano homeopathy change ringing and keeping her blog