Deerskin

Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (184 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The only daughter of a beloved king and queen, Princess Lissar has grown up in the shadow of her parents' infinite adoration for each other - an infatuation so great that it could only be broken by the queen's unexpected passing. As Lissar reaches womanhood, it becomes clear to everyone in the kingdom that she has inherited her late mother's breathtaking beauty. But on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Lissar's exquisite looks become a curse....

Betrayed and abused, Lissar is forced to flee her home to escape her father's madness. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar finds refuge in the mountains, where she has the chance to heal and start anew. As she unlocks a door to a world of magic, Lissar finds the key to her survival and begins an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

©1993 Robin McKinley (P)2018 Tantor
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorites

I love this story. I was so happy to find an audible recording of it because I have read it numerous times -- own the hardback as well -- and had wanted an audible recording. The choice of Xe Sands to read it was the hands down best choice that could have been made. In her reading, she expressed the emotions of the story in such a way that it didn't overpower the story but gave it the nuances it needed. The book covers a very difficult topic and this recording of it was perfect.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A dark and beautiful story

Deerskin is one of Robin McKinley's darker stories but none the less a beautiful story. It involves some topics that are considered taboo like rape. Even though this is a darker tale ut is still a story of surviving and overcoming great hardship. It is well worth the read or listen.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor Narrator choice :/

Ok, to start, I LOVE the book. Totally my favorite of all Ms. Mckinley's books. Unfortunately, the audio is like the one for "Sunshine". Odd accents trip through pseudo-British and Southern American. Worst of all, though, the narrator makes the heroine sound like she *wrings her hands*. Just very tired throughout. I was so excited to see that this book was available, but was so disappointed in the performance .

18 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written, leans toward self-indulgent

Okay, before saying anything else I have to say that I loved the story. I enjoyed the book,and do not regret my purchase. The character development was delightful, and if you love dogs, man. You are going to absolutely adore this book. The insights into the complex and varied relationship between a dog and their "person" was very enjoyable. I enjoyed the narration, as well. I know that Xe Sands isn't for everyone. She has this mellow, laid back vibe that I appreciate and thought really worked for some of the more existential moments in the novel.

I think one must consider the time in which this work was written, the early 1990s. Rape was an even more taboo subject than it is now, and for its time, the portrayal of the assault and the aftermath was really something. Not glossing over or titilating. I appreciate it, yet, this novel feels, imbalanced. So dark, so angsty, so victim heavy. Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Lissar, but she spends SO MUCH TIME being an extreme victim. I had a hard time reading a novel that seemed to re-victimize this character by making her rape the defining moment of her existence. It felt like exploitation and so overly melodramatic at times it pulled me right out of the amazing story.

Is it still worth a listen/read? Absolutely. Robin McKinley is a wonderful author, and this is still a beautiful piece. I just wish it was better balanced.

4 people found this helpful

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Finally! Well worth the wait.

I’ve waited so long for this to be made into an audiobook, it’s a book that I reread many times and will now re-listen to often. Deerskin is one of my favorite stories. In my opinion, Robin McKinleys retelling of the original tale (Donkey skin/bear skin) handles harsh and dark subjects matters with a sensitivity not seen very often in the fantasy genre. I love Xe Sands narration. I have been lucky enough to have heard her narration of another book prior to this work. She is a solid narrator and I will look for her work on other audiobooks

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story of survival and life after trauma

I love almost all of Robin McKinley's books, and this one does not disappoint. It's much in the vein of The Hero and the Crown and Sunshine, which are about women who heroically, but still with honest pain, survive trauma. The parts about the trauma aren't explicit, but they are very emotional, so be warned if violence against women troubles you. For me, those brutally honest and honestly brutal parts were worth it to stick with Deerskin through her journey.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

excellent read

be wary, some of the content is sexually violent but in all the author is very good with describing trauma and recovery.

4 people found this helpful

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I loved this book!

First off, XE Sands made this book come alive! Her narration is top notch and I can see why she wins awards for her interpretation of a story. Deerskin is a story of loss, neglect, and despair and the growth of a woman-child to see the strength that lies within herself. This is a book I will read again and again.

3 people found this helpful

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Stunning

A dense little powerhouse of a book, packed with ugliness and beauty, despair and hope, trauma and healing. And some of the best, most precise and loveliest prose I’ve encountered in a long time. The audio performance is phenomenal as well. An instant classic for me.

3 people found this helpful

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Dark but triumphant

Our hero(ine) starts in a very grim place indeed, and it gets worse. Through persistence, charity, and a kind of faith, she finds her way back to hope and love. Robins' prose is lovely and matter of fact- I couldn't have made it through the tough parts if she'd raged or bled over them, and it left a more lingering, thoughtful impact. Definitely not a children's tale, but very worth "reading". The reader does an awesome job with a difficult story. I will listen to it several times over the next year or two.

3 people found this helpful