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Blue Sword [Mass Market Paperback]

Robin McKinley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 11 2002
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

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About the Author

Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLUE SWORD Sept. 28 2004
I Love this story I is a true classic and a wonderful adventure. Harri is my favorite character in any book she is wonderful to read about and thank you Robin for giving her life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Blue Sword deserves ten stars! Oct. 12 2005
By A Customer
Format:School & Library Binding
This is my absoloutly favorite book in the world!! And I have read a lot of books. I read about a book a day and over the summer I usually read around 2 hundred books, I'm not joking. And this is my favorite out of them all. In the story, Harry (who's real name is Angharad) moves out to Istan, the last Homelander settlement on the border of the Homeland and Daria, after the deaths of her parents. Her brother Richard (also called Dickie) is stationed at the military outpost (the General Leonard Ernest Mundy) in Istan. She finds friends in her cheerful hosts Sir Charles and Lady Amelia and the commander of the fort Colonel Jack Dedham. Harry has always had a longing for adventure and action and she soon gets her wish. A diplomatic party from the Damarians (called Hillfolk by Homelanders) arrive in Istan and when they leave they secretly kidnap Harry. All of the sudden Harry is thrust into the adventure she longs for and she discovers some suprising things about her past. Trying to find her way in an a world so very different from her own she finds friends in the Kings Riders, an elite group of warriors serving the Hillking Corlath. Harry soons finds herself the wieldier of the legendary sword Guntarun (once belonging to the Lady Aerin from "The Hero and The Crown") and possesser of the magical gift of Kelar. As the Damarians prepare for the coming war with the Northeners Harry is faced with a difficult descision. Should she ride to war with the People of the Hills, who have accepted her for who she is and made her one of their own? Or should she risk exile from her new home to warn the Homelanders of the coming attack? With the help of the wiseman Luthe, her teacher Mathin, her friends Terim and Senay, the foltsza Narnkon and her faithful Hill-horse Tsornin, Harry fights for her life and the things she believes in. Robin McKinnley is a master storyteller and "The Blue Sword" is an amazing gripping book. You can't put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic! Feb. 10 2005
By A Customer
I read the Berkeley edition of this paperback back in 1983 and still have the original. Battered, dog-eared and yellow but it remains a favourite of mine to re-read. I did break down and buy a more "modern" edition of it a few years ago.
It's a classic tale of a girl who is a fish out of water until she's taken from her "normal" life and thrown into a situation which shows her not only who she really is but what she is really capable of. A memorable cast of characters which include a horse, a hunting cat I wish I owned, and an eccentric wizard-type as well as a Mckinley version of the Knights of the Round table.
I hope you enjoy this story as much and as often as I do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner July 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I simply could not put this fascinating book down. After a bit of a slow start with tons of descriptions of the stodgy, dull, orange growing colony Daria, the book really took off. The abrupt switch from stolid Brititshy normalcy to outright magical fun is what makes this book so good. Robin McKinley never puts in too many unessecary details of describing the native's lives which she could have easily fallen into. I thought that the novel was much more consistent and interesting than The Hero and the Crown which started off great but got progressively boring. If you love fantasy and magic books you will just love this book. However, even if you don't like fantasy you will want to read this two or three times.
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By A Customer
Harry Crewe, an orphan living in a desert manor, is stolen away by a band of desert nomads to fulfill her "destiny"-to wield the legendary Blue Sword and defeat the vicious Northern Army.
Although set in a well developed culture, the ending seemed a result of the "happily-ever-after syndrome"-authors feel that they must follow stereotypical fantasy ending rather than follow what would have really happened had the story actually occured. The ending event seemed rather gratuitous and complusory. There was no indication of the event in the storyline. The age diference between those two charactors is also unbelievable.
A well written book, but a let-down of an ending. Worth reading, but don't expect too much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Young Adult Fare April 15 2004
By Essay
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once again, McKinley spins a nice story with a fairy tale feel, a strong but not perfect heroine, and the usual Good Conquers All ending. Nice, engaging young adult fare (I borrowed the book from my kidlet, in fact). If you haven't read McKinley before, buy The Hero and the Crown as well and read them back to back.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Magic, Mystery, and Adventure March 29 2004
By Ryan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Blue Sword brings to life, the sense of wanting and desire. In this great tale of of insightful adventure, nothing is ever what it might seem. Harry Crewe lived a normal life in what could only be paradise. But all that changed when she found herself in the middle of nowhere with her brother Richard. After being abducted in the middle of the night by Corlath the last King of Damar, Harry must find a way to fit in her new suroundings. Harry, while training to be a Damar warrior or King's Rider, learns more about the Hillfolk's culture and discovers startling secrets about her own past. Caught between feuding armies in an age old battle that could determine the fate of whether humans or demons would rule the last habital paradise in Damar, Harry must bring together the Homelanders and the last of the free Hillfolk to stop the monsterous invasion. I felt a sense of yearning to place myself in this epic story. Even though the story started out slow, I was more than glad to finish what I was reading. Robin McKinley is a great author that describes in great detail what is going on so that you feel like a part of story. I recommend if you start to read this book that you continue on through to the end. You will not be disappointed in this book.
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