The Blue Sword is a fantasy novel written by Robin McKinley and published by the Berkley Publishing Group in 1982. The novel The Hero and the Crown serves as a prequel. The Blue Sword has received numerous awards, including: Newbery Honor Award, ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the ALA Notable Children's Book. The story, told in the third-person omniscient perspective, is of a young woman named Angharad Crewe, called Harry, who becomes a warrior in her adopted homeland of Damar.
This is the story of Corlath, golden-eyed king of the Free Hillfok, 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, Gonturan, the sword Lady Aerin carried, the sword only a woman may wield, for it will turn in the hand of a man.
It's a little strange for me to read THE BLUE SWORD for the first time, nearly ten years after I picked up The Hero and the Crown and read it to pieces for about four years straight, it having been my favorite book in middle school. THE BLUE SWORD was written before The Hero and the Crown. I can hardly wrap my mind around that! The depiction of the Damarian landscape is incredible: ranging from endless red deserts to the hidden valleys and villages within the mountains. Robin McKinley's language is not quite lyrical, per se, but there is a certain hypnotic rhythm that her descriptions possess. That, combined with the scope of the worldbuilding--the politics, myths, fashions, traditions, everyday duties--is entrancing. McKinley inspires awe in readers.