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Warning: This book contains scenes that, while not graphically described, may still upset some readers. See below.

Not For The Faint-Hearted
Robin McKinley

A wonderful book, a retelling of an old French tale; a compelling read, a case-study of emotions and relationships...

But, with all that a dark and disturbing book, at least to begin.

Quite frankly, the opening scenes in which an aging King becomes fascinated by his daughter's growing resemblance to his beautiful, dead Queen's portrait and declares that he will marry the Princess when she is of age... and the horrifying (though not overly graphic) scene in which the obsessed King bursts into his daughter's chamber and rapes her, were almost enough to put me off this book when first i read it.

But i persevered, and was rewarded; this is a warm and wonderful book that looks at why humans need each others' companionship, and at what friendship and love can and should be, as well as what love is *not*.

I would recommend that anyone considering this book as reading matter for a younger teenage (or even younger ) reader first read it themself and consider whether for that age group the dark intensity of the beginning too much overshadows the wonderful story that the final two-thirds of the book tells.

(Basically, if this book were a movie, i'd expect a PG-13 rating; i hope that helps...)