October 20, 2006

The Blue Sword

By Robin McKinley
Newbery Honor 1983
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Harry Crewe is on her way to Daria to live with her soldier brother Richard after the death of her father. She finds herself falling in love with the desert country occupied by the Homelanders and intrigued by the mysterious Hillfolk who are its natives. She lives her life idly until the day Corlath, king of the Hillfolk, appears to ask the Homelanders for help against the threat of the Northmen. Corlath's magical kelar, or Gift, makes it clear to him that Harry will be important in the upcoming struggle, so he kidnaps her. Soon Harry becomes aware that she also possesses this magical Gift and the Damarians plunge her into training. She learns their language but also she learns to become a warrior, for she will become Dalamur-Sol, the Lady Hero, who will carry the ancient blue sword Gonturan into battle. This is fantasy storytelling at its best. There are fully realized characters, a well built fantasy world, and battles, friendships, and a bit of romance. For those who love cats and horses, there is an added bonus of meeting the great warhorses and the foltza, the large hunting cats. Readers will be swept up in this compelling story. For those who want more, they can read the prequel, The Hero and the Crown, which won the Newbery Medal in 1985.

No comments: