Winter Rose, Patricia McKillip

I simply cannot get on with Patricia McKillip.  I don’t know what it is about her books that displease me.  The writing is lovely, her characters are likeable, the plots are interesting – and still, every single time I pick up one of her books, I end up stewing in displeasure and finally asking myself, Jenny, why are you torturing yourself like this?  Just put the damn book down and read something else.

Winter Rose is a retelling of Tam Lin.  I love that story!  As previously mentioned, I am reading a bunch of retellings of that story.  And there was nothing wrong with this book.  Rois is a clever and inquisitive heroine, trying to find out what kind of a curse Corbet Lynn is under, and whether his father killed his grandfather, and why he’s come back to rebuild his family estate.  I was interested in knowing all of these things!  I was interested in Rois’s demure sister Laurel, happily engaged yet strangely drawn to Corbet.  At least, I was for a while.  Then after a while, I didn’t care enough to finish the book, or even to read the end.

Riddle me this: Nobody was boring, but I got bored.

10 thoughts on “Winter Rose, Patricia McKillip

  1. I read something by Patricia McKillip because I heard about her in other fantasy novels, but I was left pretty unmoved. I can’t even remember now which book it was. Something about animals a princess and a mountain?

  2. I honestly can’t figure it out. I’ve tried at least four of her books at this point, and I can never point to any aspect of them and say, This put me off. I just don’t finish them. I’m glad to hear it’s not just me!

  3. I think Patricia McKillip has one cool idea per book–and in the ones I’ve read, they honestly have been cool ideas–but she doesn’t write a story, so much as the cool idea, so everything else is left somewhat empty.

  4. Hm, you might have a point. What a terrifying idea. My ideas are always so much better than the execution, and I’d hate to have someone say that my ideas are all that ever happen.

  5. You didn’t like “The Forgotten Beasts of Eld”? Because I did. It’s the only one of her books that I liked, and every year or so I feel a need to re-read it.

  6. I think you’re safe from that issue. I grant, I am biased, but it seems to me that you’re writing a story to explore an idea. She’s writing a story to set up an idea and explain it.

    Animals, a sorceress and a mountain. And the obligatory prince. I read it once, and did enjoy it, but I’m unlikely ever to read it again. And I was plowing by about the middle of the book.

  7. It always makes me sad when that happens…when a book has everything for me to love it, yet for some reason I don’t.

    I have The Forgotten Beasts of Eld on my tbr pile. I hope I manage to get along with it (and Jeane, if you see this – you sent it to me, so that must have been the one you read).

  8. Nymeth – I hate it too! And especially when it’s a retelling of Tam Lin – I want to love Tam Lin! So far the three books I’ve tried as part of this project have not been very successful. The first one was dull, the second one wasn’t a retelling of Tam Lin at all although I enjoyed it, and the third one, I could not manage even to finish.

  9. I love Patricia Mckillips books. She is one of my top 5 favorite authors. I am a writer and I totally wish I had her style. I don’t know what you guys look for in an author or thier books but she has got talent!! And btw Morgan from Riddle Master is the best hero of any book except Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind.

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