Deerskin by Robin McKinley is on sale in ebook format for I don't know how long for $1.99.
Do I recommend this book? I remember first buying it upon its original release into hardcover with hard earned cash when being a poor student meant hardcover books were an absolute luxury. Have I ever regretted the purchase? No. Does the book still rest on the McKinley shelf in my library? Yes. Is the reason Donkeyskin is annotated on SurLaLune primarily in thanks to this book? Absolutely yes.
It's a tough book subject matter wise but it is lovely and now I also own it in ebook format, too, to access wherever I may be in the world. I think it handles a very difficult topic without glamorizing or exploiting it or being too graphic or explicit. Much more is implied than shown. But please read the description, be aware of the subject matter, and be aware of any personal trigger warnings, especially for victims of abuse. It is not a children's book either. These days it would be new adult but mature young adults will be fine with it. There is so much more out there that is much more graphic than this in the 22 years since it was published.
The story of Princess Lissar, who flees her father’s wrath and is granted an unexpected new life
Princess Lissla Lissar is the only child of the king and his queen, who was the most beautiful woman in seven kingdoms. Everyone loved the splendid king and his matchless queen so much that no one had any attention to spare for the princess, who grew up in seclusion, listening to the tales her nursemaid told about her magnificent parents.
But the queen takes ill of a mysterious wasting disease and on her deathbed extracts a strange promise from her husband: “I want you to promise me . . . you will only marry someone as beautiful as I was.”
The king is crazy with grief at her loss, and slow to regain both his wits and his strength. But on Lissar’s seventeenth birthday, two years after the queen’s death, there is a grand ball, and everyone present looks at the princess in astonishment and whispers to their neighbors, How like her mother she is!
On the day after the ball, the king announces that he is to marry again—and that his bride is the princess Lissla Lissar, his own daughter.
Lissar, physically broken, half mad, and terrified, flees her father’s lust with her one loyal friend, her sighthound, Ash. It is the beginning of winter as they journey into the mountains—and on the night when it begins to snow, they find a tiny, deserted cabin with the makings of a fire ready-laid in the hearth.
Thus begins Lissar’s long, profound, and demanding journey away from treachery and pain and horror, to trust and love and healing.