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on 20 July 1999
I am a therapist, specializing in work with children and women in crisis. Deerskin is one of the books I use in therapy with girls and women who have been sexually abused by their fathers. The women and girls get a sense that they are not alone and things will get better. Sometimes it takes several readings but it works. I don't feel that the story really bogs down all that much. In her new persona, our heroine has to learn how to give and recieve love that is healthy and helps her to become a whole person. I strongly recommend this book because not only do I think its a good theraputic tool but its also a good read.
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on 19 December 2016
So SO good. I came across this when I was reading the Erstwhile fairytale comic and one of the authors talked about reading this book. I was very curious because I love fairytale retellings and this sounded especially interesting. I'm so glad I did. The troubles Lissar goes through in her recovery, the wonderful people she meets along the way, the DOGS (don't get me started on how much I love Ash......) the climax and the hopeful ending all struck a deep chord in me. I bought this book yesterday evening and finished it not five minutes ago (it's 2 am)- every moment was worth it. The book was written so vividly that in moments of Lissar's terror my heart pounded and I could picture everything so very clearly.

(Spoilers?)
Lissar's mental state after her father's rape and how badly he also injures her physically was hard to read. She sometimes slips back into the memories of the worst moments, despite losing almost all recollection of her past life. The way she copes with what happened to her and her recovery that goes through periods of almost getting better and then completely twisting the other way is also hard to read; what makes the ordeal Lissar is put through so hard to read is that what Lissar goes through at her father's hands can happen to anyone by anyone, and the experience is damaging. I despised how, in the moments of horror the crowd experiences after the King announces his plans to marry his daughter, that they decide to blame the daughter for apparently 'bewitching' her father into marrying her. It is a similar feeling I get when rape victims are sometimes actually punished for what their abusers did instead of the abusers themselves, or the blame taken from the abuser and placed on the victim's shoulders instead. The very real injustice so many people experience is something that needs to be tackled completely, as well as how abusers are dealt with.
(End spoiler)

I would 100% recommend this book. It impacted me deeply and is for sure among my favourites.

((Spoiler, again, maybe))
(During Lissar's 17th birthday ball, I kind of imagined Sarah during the ball scene in Labyrinth, except the dress being even more extravagant and her hair decoration being much more weighty. The bizarre dreamlike sense of that scene in the movie also kind of manifested when I was reading the scene of Lissar's ball except with much more uneasiness and a kind of sickness about what was going through the King's head. The description of him also completely terrified me, his sickly, inhuman beastliness seeming to only make itself known to Lissar and the reader while everyone else is completely incapable of seeing it under what they expect to see, a handsome, perfect king.)
((End spoiler))
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on 9 January 2017
This is the second Robin McKinley book I have read and her descriptive writing did not disappoint. I found the plot line in places disturbing and after several attempts at re-reading several parts of the story I remain completely clueless as to what actually happened!!! However, I think the way the author made me feel about the characters deserves a 5* rating and I still enjoyed the journey, deciding to accept the unknown elements as 'magical mystery'!
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on 15 May 2015
This starts off as a very conventional story of the heroic Prince who performs a heroic deed to win the hand of beautiful Princess, with the story presented as a tale told to their daughter years later.
But even from the beginning, there is a sense that something is not right.

Robin McKinley does a wonderful job of telling the traditional tale with a clarity and simplicity. And at the same time there is a growing sense of wrongness.

From there on the sense of dread gets worse.

Not an easy read, but a good one.

An adult story, told from the perspective of a child growing to become an adult. And with a happy ending. For a given definition of "happy."
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on 25 June 2015
I did enjoy this book but folk need to make sure and read the reviews and synopsis of the story. This book is about incest and how one girl deals with it and conquers it. i read somewhere that it was used as a tool to help abuse victims. I would not know about that myself. I feel that the book is to above and beyond reality to help abuse victims. Abuse victims have to live and conquer in the real world. Apart from that the book is a good read but be warned of it's content when giving it to younger folk
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on 15 March 2017
The book read out like an old folklore, It was completely absorbing. I enjoyed the duality of the characters with their thought and what might be. A very interesting and moral tale.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 September 2015
Bought this on recommendation but, sadly, it did not work for me. I found the prose style too 'dreamy' and convoluted.
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on 28 April 2017
Always good reading from this author.
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on 8 May 2015
This is a retelling of the fairytale Donkeyskin or Thousandfurs, and parts are a little bit intense. NOT for children but heartwarming all the same (I note this because a few of McKinley's most popular books are good for Middle Grade or younger, and this is absolutely not one of them) and I love it and re-read it often.
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on 11 June 2015
It is one on the most interesting books I've read this year. I couldn't put it down. Though dark and with a twist, I really enjoyed it.even after a good month I keep thinking about it. I really enjoyed the author's visual/ emotional style.
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