Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits

Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits

by Robin McKinley, Peter Dickinson

Hardcover

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Overview

Master storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson share tales of mysterious merfolk and magical humans, all with close ties to the element of water. From Pitiable Nasmith's miserable existence in a seaside town whose inhabitants are more intertwined with the sea than most people know, to Tamia's surprising summons to be the apprentice to the Guardian who has the power to hold back the sea, each of the six stories illuminates a captivating world filled with adventure, romance, intrigue, and enchantment. Robin McKinley fans will recognize one of the worlds included-Damar, the setting of Newbery Medal winner The Hero and the Crown and Newbery Honor Book The Blue Sword.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399237966
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2002
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.08(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.

In 1927, Peter Dickinson was born in Africa, within earshot of Victoria Falls. When he was seven, his family moved to England, where he graduated from Eton and later Cambridge. After working on the editorial staff of the humor magazine Punch for seventeen years, Peter finally started on his career as a writer, which he knew he was meant for since he was five years old.

His first book was published in 1968, and since then he has written almost fifty novels, for adults and young readers. His children's books have won great acclaim here as well as in Great Britain, where he has received both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.

Peter lives in Hampshire, England, with his wife, Newbery Medalist Robin McKinley.

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From the Publisher

These creative interpretations brim with suspenseful, chilling and wonderfully supernatural scenes. (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd read the Damar story - the last one - before, but I don't think I read any of the rest. They're all good - range from good to excellent. Many are written in a fairy-tale style - very little about why the characters do what they do - but that doesn't detract from the stories. Mermaid's Song is OK - unpleasant events while it's going on and a bit of a deus ex machina at the end (though it wasn't a great surprise), but even so interesting. The Sea King's Son is a little dull - pretty obvious what was going to happen next, but a nice story regardless. Kraken was weird, with an interesting conclusion. The Guardian story was good too - though I got a little tired of her self-doubt, it really was reasonable. And I love the Damar story - it's at least as unpleasant as Mermaid's Song what's happening to her (parental abuse, in both), but Hetta actually moves to save herself, with her sister's help. And of course it's another light on Damar - wonderful for that alone. I think I'm missing one but I can't remember - so it can't have been all that good, could it? Overall, very good.
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A collection of six stories that focus on the element of water. Each author contributes three stories.I came to this collection through the sixteenth edition of THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR, which reprinted two of the stories. Those two, ("A Pool in the Desert" and "Mermaid Song"), were definitely the best this book has to offer, but I enjoyed almost all the others, too. The only piece I found tedious was "Sea Serpent," which throws the reader right into the centre of things without much of an introduction and with few telling details until later on. It just didn't work for me.Dickinson's stories are all rather abstract. He's working with some larger, less concrete themes, and he doesn't give the reader any handouts; she has to work for the payoff. This approach works very well with "Mermaid Song" and "Kraken," but as I've already mentioned I just didn't care for "Sea Serpent." McKinley, in contrast, provides three stories with firm roots in the realm of the emotional. Her tales draw the reader in and tug at the heartstrings in a way that I found impossible to resist. I enjoyed all three stories very much.Overall, this was a good, quick read. I definitely recommend it.
dimrain23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know that this book sounds like it could be really cool and interesting, but it really sucks in my opinion
Rhinoa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Six tales from husband and wife team Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson. They are all based on water, it is subtitled "Tales of Elemental Spirits" and each story has a different magical water being. It is a very powerful collection and I found something to enjoy in all six tales.Mermaid Song - Peter DickinsonPitiable lives with her grandparents. Her mother was expelled from the People when she chose to marry outside her clan and died giving birth. Her grandmother Mercy tells her the story of their ancestor Charity Goodrich who met some sea-people as a child who helped save her life. After Mercy's death, her grandfather treats Pitiable like a slave beating her and expecting her to work like a dog. One day her life is changed when she meets a sea-child herself.The Sea-Kings Song - Robin McKinleyJenny is hard working and intelligent, but not beautiful and is hidden by her shyness. She becomes betrothed to a beautiful young man who is more interested in her inhertiance than her. He ends up breaking her heart as predicted leading her to take a short cut home over a bridge that has been cursed by the Sea King after he was treated badly by the landfolk. Instead of killing her he lets her go after she speaks so highly of her love for her family. His son is intrigued by the girl who helped his father let go of her rage and strives to meet her.Sea Serpent - Peter DickinsonIril chews the leaf and dreams the wave. He takes ona contract for Mel, a Priest for the Father-God to take stones from Siron a Priestess of the Earth-Mother whose religion is dwindling. Doing so causes Siron to unleash a fearsome sea serpent which tries to stop them taking the stones. Iril and his son Jarro need to work together to defeat it.Water Horse - Robin McKinleyTamia lives with her family where she isn't appreciated before leaving to be an apprentice to the Guardian Western Mouth. The Guardians keep the sea from drowning their island and the lands behind. When Western Mouth has a stroke Tamia summons help using the gold stones in the water pool, but accidentally opens the way for a ferocious water horse which is dealing a vast amount of damage to the land. She opened the way and so she must be the one to send it back to the sea. Perhaps her affinity with animals, especially horses will help her.Kraken - Peter DickinsonWhen two lovers dive off a boat being boarded by pirates rather than be captured, mermaid and King's daughter Ailsa and her blue-fin Carn decide to save their bodies. On diving below the limit Ailsa feels the limit, cold and deadly. As she tows the bodies back to her father the limit begins to rise and she senses a dark, other presence following her. A kraken has awoken and is interested in the humans as well as Ailsa and is keeping the couple alive in a suspended animation.A Pool in the Desert - Robin McKinleyHetta dreams of the desert and begins to travel there in her dreams. She is saved from a sandstorm by a Watcher named Zasharan. The dreams are so vivid and in her waking life she begins to research the strange land she emerged in that felt so life like. It turns out to be a real place, but she is meeting people from legend rather than real history. She tries to find a way to get there and one day her sister helps her notice an unusual newt in their pond which opens the way.My favourite was Water Horse, it was a great story filled with magic but of a practical nature and was something a little different. Other favourites were The Sea-King's Son and Sea Serpent. My least favourite was Kraken which started like a rip off of The Little Mermaid which is a story I love. They are supposed to be teaming up to do a series of these anthologies of different elements and Peter's site says he has written some of them. I do hope they complete the series as this was an extrememly enjoyable collection.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Always fresh and unique ideas and worlds.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Robin McKinley. I loved her stories. There's one on Damar - and it's wonderful. Her stories are great, and they have that special style of writing that she has. And as for Peter Dickinson - his stories are ok. I loved Mermaid Song, though.