- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (May 14, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076530399X
- ISBN-13: 978-0765303998
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,136,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sold for Endless Rue Hardcover – May 14, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Robins writes with rare conviction….what you are reading is a love story--about love lost and found, and the price to be paid when people ignore the human disasters in their midst.” ―The New York Times Book Review on The Stone War (New York Times Notable Book)
“When Madeleine Robins wakes the stone lions in front of the New York Public Library, it is the hand of a master at work. The Stone War is American magic, superbly told.” ―Maureen F. McHugh
“A fascinating heroine...[and] equally intriguing secondary characters. Politics, deception, danger, and a bit of romance all come together beautifully in this superb debut.” ―Booklist on Point of Honour
“Doesn't have any of the hallmarks of fantasy but still seems to scratch the reader's fantasy itch. Strictly speaking, Sold for Endless Rue is a historic fable. Robins's storytelling is a force, as is her knack for rich detail. The language is lush and you fall into this created world. Robins's work is lovely and rich. Crescia and Bieta make the story come alive when they are on the page and pull the reader into a well-imagined slipstream of history.” ―Locus
“Characters much more rich than any found in a Grimm story. Medieval life and medicine are well-researched and richly described, and Robins is very clever in her adaptation of the fairy tale.” ―Historical Novel Society
About the Author
MADELEINE E. ROBINS is the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Stone War and other novels. Her short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and various anthologies, including Lace and Blade. A graduate of Clarion, she is a founding member of Book View Cafe, where she blogs regularly. Robins, who is an excellent decorator of cakes, lives in San Francisco with her husband, their younger daughter, and a very energetic dog.
Top customer reviews
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The Rapunzel-retelling was subtly done and did not start right away. This story is 3/4 historical fiction and 1/4 fairy tale, and the fairy tale doesn't really start until halfway through the book. I especially loved the subtlety of the prince-character.
I liked the contrasting mother-figures in this story. They all love their children, but react in different ways to the natural way children break rules as they grow up. Cressia never defines her plans or rules (as a parent, this overprotection-through-ignorance made me flinch.) Laura is attempting to live out her childhood in a better way through her own daughter, and not listening to what the kid wants. And Sibela says, ""And I did not raise a living son to cast him off at the first time of trouble." Even the Traveller Nonna, and the companion-sister are mothers of sorts. This book is so full of mothers -- good and bad, present and absent, sympathetic and harsh. I think that may be the best thing about it -- women in so many different ways.
I would happily read more stories set in this world.
Read if: You would love your fairy-tale retellings with more history. You like a multi-generational story. You love period details.
Skip if: You are looking for another book featuring Robins' sassy Regency heroines. This is period-appropriate but less banter-y.
Also read: The Midwife's Apprentice
I don't mean to make the novel sound cerebral. It's beautifully written, with a page-turning story that drives the reader forward to find out what happens. In the end, it's a tale of love and loss and redemption, framed exquisitely in its historical period. I have to search out Robins's earlier work now! She's a writer to savor.
I will say, though, that sometimes the characters' behaviors seem more plot-driven than inherent. Two important plot points rely on this: Laura's adopted mother's rejection of her after Laura has a brief, doomed affair with a fellow student- surely, as a healer, she's seen much worse behavior, AND repentance is important to her world-view; and Laura's own "stealing" of her neighboring friend's newborn baby. Even odder, neither of these seems to have had any particular repercussions.
Still, it's a good book- both for the context, and for the thoughtful way Robins depicts mother-daughter relationships: the ones where the daughter strives to fulfill her mother's ideals and falls short, and the ones where the daughter reacts against such expectations.
It's also rather sobering to hear the same misogynist rhetoric coming from priests all those years ago as we hear today, and to attempt to create a similar context in which men rule women's lives.
This is a book I'll be thinking about for some time.
The writing is good and the details rich, but there is absolutely no point that I could find. Did I hate the book? Well, that is a bit strong and way more effort than I wish to expend. Would I recommend the book. Absolutely not!