Robyn Starkey rohina at
Tue Apr 8 13:05:31 EDT 2003

>But there are too many.  I can't remember the number offhand, but I
>believe it is about 100 pages into this retelling of Sleeping Beauty
>before you meet Sleeping Beauty herself.  And it doesn't become her
>story, instead of Kat's, for a significant length of time after that.
>Because while each individual detail is very cool, all of them together
>overload the book, and make it too heavy for me.

See now, this is one of the things I loved about the book. I like 
McKinley's description, because she can write a good sentence. I know some 
people don't like her writing style, but it isn't as florid and 
self-indulgent as McKillip. Plus, since I read a lot of 20th century 
"serious" fiction, I probably have a higher tolerance.

>She didn't always do this.  Though I've always had the sense that
>McKinley understands her worlds and characters fully, she used to pick
>specific places to explore those details.  A moment which has always
>stood out for me in Beauty is when Beauty finds her bedroom in the
>Beast's house and rifles through the paper and inks on her desk.  But it
>stands out because that is the one thing the narrator has chosen to
>describe with such affection.  The loving sensual detail dwells on the
>paper and inks.  I feel that if she were writing that book now, she'd
>have dwelled with just as much sensuality on the dresses, the books, the
>covers on the bed, the lighting fixture, the carvings in the windowsill
>-- and then it wouldn't be the papers and inks that would have such an

Really? I thought that a lot of the focus on detail was more of a feature 
of *this* book, the way it was imagined, the story and the characters. The 
way that the magic worked was all about details of experience, so I thought 
they were appropriate to the vision of the book. I think maybe we need to 
see the next book to decide if she really has fallen off the deep end in 
the way that you suggest.

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