The Door in the Hedge
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Master storyteller Robin McKinley here spins two new fairy tales and retells two cherished classics. All feature princesses touched with or by magic. There is Linadel, who lives in a kingdom next to Faerieland, where princesses are stolen away on their seventeenth birthdays-and Linadel's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow. And Korah, whose brother is bewitched by the magical Golden Hind; now it is up to her to break the spell. Rana must turn to a talking frog to help save her kingdom from the evil Aliyander. And then there are the twelve princesses, enspelled to dance through the soles of their shoes every night. . . . These are tales to read with delight!
understand it; and he made his beloved’s father a shaky smile; and Gilvan took a step forward. That step made no sound, yet Linadel was awake at once and flew to her father, and they hugged each other till they could hardly breathe. When Gilvan looked up again, the young man stood a few steps away, hesitating; and Gilvan gave him a real smile, and letting his daughter just a little bit loose from the grip in which he still held her, offered his hand. “This is Donathor,” said Linadel to her
attentions. The first-born were rarely taken; usually they were the second- or third- or fourth-born. And never more than one child from a family disappeared, even if the entire family was spectacular in its beauty and charm and general desirability. This meant that the worst never quite happened; the spirit and will were never quite broken. And in that uncommonly beautiful land, living under that particular sky, it was difficult if not impossible not to recover from almost anything but death
had spent so much of their lives, for the second time since their retirement. And at last into the city came its King and Queen, and its Princess; but the Queen held by the hand another Queen, who smiled a smile brighter than the flowers that hung in the air, and a smile that many found strangely familiar, but they could not pause long enough to wonder at it. Alora held Gilvan’s hand on her other side, and the dark Queen held the hand of her King. When the people waiting for them saw them, a
and turning it this way and that in the sunlight, to be certain of what she saw; and she forgot even to thank the frog, still sitting patiently on the bank where she had rescued it from the binding necklace. “Excuse me,” it said at last, and then she remembered it, and looked down and said, “Oh, thank you,” with such a bright and glowing look that it might move even a frog’s cold heart. “You’re quite welcome, I’m sure,” said the frog mechanically. “But I wonder if I might ask you a favor.”
them looking back at him; but they would not speak. Then the King sought out all the wise men of his land and asked them if they could discover anything about the enchantment—if enchantment it be, and how could it not?—that his daughters went under, and how it might be broken. And the wise men looked into their magic mirrors and their odd-colored smokes, and drank strange ill-smelling brews and looked at the backs of their own eyelids; and called up their familiars, and even wrestled with dark