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4.6 out of 5 stars42
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2001
If you want to get lost in someone else's world then this book is a must. I... was immediately drwn to the world of Damar and couldnt put it down till I finished it.The emotions and descriptions were powerful and addictive. Following the main character of 'Harry' on her journey from the familiar into a strange land with stranger people was both exciting and colourful. If you love this book be sure to read 'the hero and the crown', which is written with as much attention to detail to provoke the imagination as the first. The blue sword is to be read again and again with as much vigour as the first time you open the cover. A must for any lover of other worlds.
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on 6 April 2001
While most bookshops categorise The Blue Sword as a story for younger readers, at the age of 19 I still love it. McKinley's stories have a lot to offer for older teenagers and young adults. This book has something to offer for those who, like me, have had a difficult childhood because they are 'different'. Though the story is a little superlative the point is that the heroine fights her way to finding herself and achieving what she wants. I first read this book years ago, while I was in school - it was and remains, a favourite in the genre.
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While an excellent book, "The Blue Sword" does not meet the same standards as "The Hero and the Crown".
A few hundred years after Aerin enters the land of legend another woman finds her life changed by Damar. Harry, an Outlander, is kidnapped by Damar's king Corlath. Why he has been compelled to this illogical act by his kelar (magic) is not apparent to Corlath. Of course, Harry soon discovers that she has unknown talents and an unexpected affinity to the land of her kidnapper.
There is certainly action and character development in this book. At the same time "The Blue Sword" seems to fit its categorization as a young adult's book better than "The Hero and the Crown". "The Blue Sword" is an enjoyable read.
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on 8 March 2001
It's about a girl that anygirl could be, who after going to live with her brothers comanding officer and his wife gets kiddnapped by the king of a strange group of people who live across the desert that she has come to love. I love this book it's one of those books that leaves you feeling realy good & happy
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on 23 August 1999
I really like Robin McKinley's books. She is indeed an awesomeauthor and I love her books. In the 8th Grade, my English teacher let us choose a book of R. McKinley for our book report credit. I chose the book Beauty and really liked it. This summer, I went to the library,(I Love reading) and checked out this neat book to see what it was all about. I couldn't put it down. It was so good. Robin does use a language of her own in these books, and it is fun to read them. I can totally relate to the two "worlds" getting along and the challenges of understanding cultures and languages. I recommend this book. (I think it's specifically designed for teenage girls ages, 13-15. You'll love Harry and the story.)
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on 18 August 2006
I purchased this book from my local second Emmaus yesterday and couldn't put it down. I have read an other book by Robin McKinley, Spindle's End. and enjoyed it just as much.

The Blue sword is about a mythical place, although you are not quite certain whether or not it does exist, as it has overtones of the raj running through it, making the area Daria feel like India.

The heroine Angharad (or Harry as she is known), travels out to Daria to be with her brother Richard after the death of her father, in the Homeland. There she is taken into the house of Richards boss, Sir Charles and his wife. Lady Amelia. Here she can see the range of mountains and she has a longing to explore.

When the local cheiftan (King Corlath) comes visiting, he finds something strange about her and kidnaps her.

She has the 'kelar' or magic which only shows itself to some of the hillfolk, and this leads her to become Harimad-sol and the laprun-minta. She, like shamen, can see into the future, and she knows that she will have to go against the wishes of Corlath to save both his people, their homeland in the mountains as well as the land where the Homelanders live.

A thrilling book, one which kept up its pace from start to finish, and I was sorry when it ended as I wanted to read on.

If you have not read any books by Robim McKinley before, this is an agreeable read, light but engrosing.
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on 6 March 2015
What a surprise this story was. I had looked up a list of books with strong heroines. I was looking for something in the Fantasy genre that wasn’t all about vampires and pubescent adults. The Blue Sword was sitting amongst the usual suspects and I have to admit I had not heard of this author.
It was one of those "Hell for that price what's the worst that could happen" moments. What can I say I was blown away, a great and captivating story, some nice world building and good character generation, an interesting magic , well you can’t call it a system, but nice if not vague magic.
But written in a style akin to English people involved in the British Raj in India. But as it’s a fantasy story, set on a fantasy world, that’s a little unfair, but still if you read or have read the book it makes sense. Simple plot, well described, nicely developed into much more of a story than I had expected. I read it quickly for me as I couldn’t put it down. Only 4 stars as I just felt it lacked a final polish and several of the ideas in this book were not developed, but cast aside. I now know the author went on to write a prequel, which I am sure will fill in many of the blanks. Iin my opinion, well worth the time to read this very enjoyable escapism.
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on 10 February 2000
I can't remember how many years it is since I first read this, but I've reread it over and over through the years. My only complaint is that it could be much longer as it is such a rich read that I've always wanted to have more of the land and characters.I enjoy it for the beautiful descriptions as much as the plot, and whenever I finish it I always feel a little bereft.
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on 19 December 2015
This is the best fantasy book I have ever read. I first read it when I was about twelve years old. I am an avid reader and have read many fantasy novels ever since, and this would still top my list (followed closely by Anne McCaffrey's dragon series and Harry Potter). This NEEDS to make it into a Kindle edition, but I say it's worth buying in paperback this instance (I have two copies as one wore out with so much re-reading). The only thing I will say for younger readers is that it starts slowly (but wonderfully), so please stick with it until several chapters in, as I remember first picking it up when I was quite little and thinking it wasn't fantasy at all - it is, but it's also so wonderfully real in terms of its world you could be fooled for thinking this really happened somewhere. Please, please, get this book. I once even started trying to do an animation of it, that's how much I think it's a good story.
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on 29 March 1999
I was really looking forward to this, but I guess I just didn't see whatever everyone else saw in this book. For one thing, I'm not horse-crazy. The slow pace was a real drawback. The author often writes sentences that are, because she adds long, often uneccessary clauses in the middle, like I'm doing here to show you, difficult to understand. See what I mean? The whole book is written like that. However, the battle scenes are very good, the characters are interesting and the end is satisfying. I loved the giant hunting cats! The world is also very convincing. It did seem a little strange that everything was so easy for Harry, but you could say it was fate and Aerin was guiding her. Some people have compared this to "Arrows of the Queen." Well, I didn't like AOTQ and I assure you that this is much better, so if you liked that, you will probably like this. But you should probably read this anyway: If so many other people enjoyed it this much, you might be one of them. Zohariel, age 15
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