As promised, a review of Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley is now up.
I’d said that Spindle’s End was working in something of the same area as Howl’s Moving Castle, which probably deserves explaining. They’re both doing a low-key version of One for the Morning Glory‘s attitude toward stories; in this case, it’s that fairy tales have actual practical lessons to be learned. Thus, the second quote in the Spindle’s End review mentions bread turning into starlings, and in Howl’s Moving Castle “everyone knows” that the oldest of three children (such as Sophie) is doomed to fail when she sets out to seek her fortune. Of course, the plots are also based on fairy-tale-like situations, but with atypical elements stirred in.
For some reason, the prose also felt a bit similar to me. Upon thumbing through Howl’s Moving Castle, though, I can’t figure out why. Spindle’s End tends toward rich, long sentences, while Sophie’s narration doesn’t. I may have been misremembering Spindle’s End, or thinking of something else.
Perhaps now that I’ve got Spindle’s End out of my system (though it was enjoyable to do so, as I really like that book), I can get back to reducing my to-be-read pile . . .