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Tag Archives: Author: Robin McKinley

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kirstin Cashore

It’s Tuesday again and over at The Broke and the Bookish that means it’s time for another Tuesday Top Ten! This week’s topic is the Top Ten Books For People Who Like Kristin Cashore,

Kristin Cashore is the author of three novels: Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue. All of  Cashore’s novels are set in an interweaving fantasy world and all three feature an incredibly strong female protagonist. If you know me at all, or you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that’s one of my main criteria for selecting a book. I know that there are plenty of people out there who love the Bella’s of the literary world, but that’s just not me.

So, here are ten books for people who love Kristin Cashore’s strong, sassy females!

1. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKInley. I talk about this book ALL THE TIME and that’s because, really, it’s amazing. Aerin is one of my all time favorite fantasy characters and she is one hell of a girl, but at the same time she is human and has her flaws. She fights for her crown, she fights against the expectation placed on her and she fights for love. Oh and did I mention that there are dragons? Cause there totally are.

2. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. The this expertly executed retelling of Little Red Riding Hood  gives you two completely different, yet equally strong women. In alternating chapters you’re given a look at sisters Scarlett and Rosie March. Scarlett’s strength lays in the gift she’s been given while Rosie’s strengthallows her to forge a different path for herself.

3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. A work of epic fantasy Pullman’s Lyra is stubborn, headstrong, independent, often reckless, spoiled, bratty and yet still completely lovable. If you loved Graceling and Katsa, the often difficult to love heroine, then Lyra is sure to charm your heart.

4. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley. Another one of McKinley’s fairy tale retellings, this one gives a unique look at the Sleeping Beauty story. This story gives us two strong women who fall on each end of the social conventions spectrum, Rosie is more likely to wear pants and work on whittling spindle ends while Peony is shown wearing dresses and practicing embroidery. There’s no right or wrong way to be an independent female in YA and McKinley shows that here.

5. Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. Another series of books where you see two equally strong and independent woman, who are very different personality wise. Rose is the punch first, ask questions never type of female protagonist, while Sydney is more analytical, methodical and has to always have a plan for everything. I love both of these characters and I think it’s important to how teens that there is no right or wrong way to be a strong woman.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. A bit of a departure from Kristin Cashore’s world of fantasy, Anna is set solidly in the “real” world but she is every bit as fierce and determines as the heroines you encounter in the fantasy worlds. The spunky protagonist of this story will easily steal your heart and leave you with an Anna shaped hole when the book ends.

7. Goose Girl  by Shannon Hale. At first glance Ani does not fit the mold of strong and sassy female, she’s a princess who is soft-spoken and socially awkward, not exactly traits that help someone run a kingdom. But when things spiral out of control and ANi is forced to take a different path than the one that was laid out for her she shows jsuthow strong she truly is.

8. Belles by Jen Calonita. Another contemporary book, but one that I feel absolutely needs to be mentioned. Isabelle lives with her grandmother and has been her main caretaker ever since she started rapidly decking health wise. While doing this she manages to hold a job and swim for the local swim team. It takes a strong person to be able to patiently care for someone in her grandmother’s state and it’s easy to see that Izzie is made of seriously strong stuff.

9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Not your typical strong heroine, Liesel is a foster child living with a family near Munich in the middle of World War 2. She’s strong willed and that helps keep her alive through the war and she has a thirst for knowledge that drives her to read everything she can find or steal. There are a lot of things thrown at Liesel over the course of the novel and it is only her inner strength that gets her through.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know, I know, everyone has read this already. But on the tiniest of off-chances that you’re one of the select few that hasn’t, I suggest you take some time and get acquainted with Katniss. She’s feisty, loyal, strong willed and determined. She’s willing to sacrifice everything just to save her family.  Katniss is a prime example of kick butt women in YA fiction.

What other books would you add to this list? I’m sure there are some strong females that I left off, so let me know in the comments!

 

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Throwback Thursday June 14th: Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books! It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. Through Throwback Thursdays THCW and NTFB hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

This week’s Throwback Thursday book is The Outlaws Of Sherwood by Robin McKinley.

Summary from Amazon: The classic tale of Robin Hood gets a new lift as real flesh-and-blood outlaws, on the lam from the gallows and the sword, fight for the sake of justice. Robin and his merry cohorts swing through the forest in these fresh additions to the timeless stories.

Why You Should Read This Book: Ever since I was a small child I’ve been fascinated by the Robin Hood myth. My mom tells me that I wore out my VHS copy of the Disney Robin Hood and it had to be replaced twice and as a three year old I insisted that she make me a Robin Hood costume for Halloween (complete with bow & arrows!). So, it’s definitely no surprise that my favorite Robin McKinley book is her retelling of the famous robber of Sherwood Forest.

Robin McKinley leaves her signature stamp on the classic tale by adding a few strong willed and independently minded women to Robin’s merry band of men. In this version Maid Marian is no shrinking violet and she often bests Robin at archery! I always appreciate the way McKinley lets her female characters take control right out of the mens hands and this book is certainly no exception.

The backstories that McKinley gives the various merry men flesh out these characters better than in any previous versions I’ve read, Little John, Allan-a-Dale and even Will Scarlett become more human and more engaging that you’ve ever seen.

If, like me, you have a soft spot in your heart for Robin Hood this is the re-telling to read, I plan on reading it for the twentieth or so time in the near future! Although, this has reminded me that I need to buy a new copy, as my copy is so well-read that pages fell out when I picked it up to flip through for this post. Oops?

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: June 6, 2012: “The Crimson Crown” by Cinda Williams Chima

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly me hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine (gotta love the name!). The idea is that it spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. So, here is my pick for the week:

The Crimson Crown
by Cinda Williams Chima
Publication Date: October 23, 2012

From Amazon:
A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love.

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

Ya’ll, I can’t even tell you how upset I was a few weeks ago when i learned that The Gray Wolf Throne was NOT the last book in the Seven Realms series. I had been waiting to read the books until they were all released and someone I managed to convince myself that it was only a trilogy and I could go ahead and read them all.

I only discovered I was wrong when I was halfway through the third book…and now I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for the fourth (and final book for real) to come out in October. Cinda Williams Chima is an expert at high fantasy and she does not disappoint in this series. If you’re a fan of Robin McKinley or Tamora Pierce you should really check this series out.

 

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