Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Blue Sword

The back cover of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword compares this wonderful YA (young adult) fantasy to Islandia,The Sheikh, Gunga Din, and The Lord of the Rings. I have to agree but I'd add, as well, the Narnia books and Dune.
Also from the back cover: "This is the story of Corlath, golden-eyed king of the Free Hillfolk, son of the sons of the Lady Aerin.

And this is the story of Harry Crewe, the Outlander orphan girl who became Harimad-sol, King's Rider, and bearer of the Blue Sword Gonturin, the sword Lady Aerin carried, the sword only a woman may wield for it will turn in the hand of a man.

And this is a story of the kelar of the Hillfolk, the magic in the blood, and how it may wake, even in Outlander veins... "

May I just add that there are also horses of amazing beauty, tall horses over sixteen hands with long clean legs and tails that nearly reach the ground? Horses ridden without bridle or stirrups, such is their bond with their rider.

Oh, my! I loved this book but how I wish I'd read it when I was about eleven or twelve and horse-crazy. (Not that the book was available then -- it was published in 1983 and was a Newbery Honor Book that year.) 

I 'm making a note to give The Blue Sword to my great nieces. So nice to have the Hero be a girl. And I'm going to get hold of the prequel (The Hero and the Crown) and the rest of McKinley's fourteen books...  
Many thanks to Vicki Van Valkenburgh for suggesting that I might enjoy this lovely book--I did, I did!
Posted by Picasa


13 comments:

estaminet said...

I own every one of Robin McKinley's books. I started with "The Hero and the Crown" when I was 11, and to say it had a profound effect on me would be a MASSIVE understatement. To this day, I reread them compulsively. You may borrow any of them if you wish. :)

Victoria said...

Vicki, what gorgeous photos! Love the header photo, too.

These books sound wonderful, and I know several of my nieces would love them ... and their auntie would love them also! You've started me off on a book search, thanks for posting about Robin McKinley and her work.

Martin H. said...

One for Speckly Woo's bookshelf?

Brian Miller said...

thanks for the intel...those are some great comparisons....will check this out...

lines n shades said...

oh those beautiful flowers.. a lovely picture :)

and now i'll check out the book.

Desiree said...

Oh, your accompanying photos are truly beautiful, Vicki!

I'll pass on the info regarding this author to my daughter, an avid reader, especially of fantasy!

KarenB said...

I saw this book recommended at the Kindle store for me and was wondering about it. Now I'm off to go click the button! Thanks Vicki & Vicki!

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, estaminet! I may take you up on that!

Martin -- definitely one for Speckly Woo -- really any girl starting maybe around ten, depending on her reading tastes and abilities.

It's Glorious to have a story where the girl isn't the sidekick but is the sword-wielding Hero.

Tammy said...

Sounds like a book worth checking out. I just read two YA books this past week. Sometimes it's refreshing to pick up these YA books. Just seems like the plot lines are cleaner (By that I mean they are simpler and not so much 'baggage' that we have tacked on the adult reads--sometimes they get so complicated my head spins...). Makes it easier to enjoy the story.
Tammy

Mel said...

Thank you for the book recommendation. I have not read any by this author, but this one sounds like something I would love, and would have obsessed over as a child, if it had been written that many ages ago! The Dune books were among my favorite. I became lost in Herbert's world and inhaled every book he ever wrote. I'll be buying this one to take on vacation with me.
Thanks also for the beautiful photos, I keep coming back to look at them today, as it is cold and dreary for us this week.

Louise said...

McKinley's version of "Beauty and the Beast" is wonderful. I wasn't a kid when it came out, but I read the book to tatters.

Margaret said...

Thank you! I can't WAIT to get it and I have four girls to pass it on to for them to enjoy.

Vicki said...

So glad you liked it! I felt the same way when I read it in my 30s--I *really* could have used this book, and many more like it, when I was a kid. :D