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!