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Blue Sword (Orbit Books) Paperback – 1 Aug 1985

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Aug 1985
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (1 Aug. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708881556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708881552
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 865,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

When Harry Crewe's father dies, she leaves her Homeland to travel east, to Istan, the last outpost of the Homelander empire, where her elder brother is stationed.

Harry is drawn to the bleak landscape of the northeast frontier, so unlike the green hills of her Homeland. The desert she stares across was once a part of the great kingdom of Damar, before the Homelanders came from over the seas. Harry wishes she might cross the sands and climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot, where the last of the old Damarians, the Free Hillfolk, still live. She hears stories that the Free Hillfolk possess strange powers -- that they work magic -- that it is because of this that they remain free of the Homelander sway.

When the king of the Free Hillfolk comes to Istan to ask that the Homelanders and the Hillfolk set their enmity aside to fight a common foe, the Homelanders are reluctant to trust his word, and even more reluctant to believe his tales of the Northerners: that they are demonkind, not human.

Harry's destiny lies in the far mountains that she once wished to climb, and she will ride to the battle with the North in the Hill-king's army, bearing the Blue Sword, Gonturan, the chiefest treasure of the Hill-king's house and the subject of many legends of magic and mystery. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robin McKinley's other books include the Newbery Award-winning The Hero and the Crown; Newbery Honor Book The Blue Sword; Sunshine; Spindle's End; Rose Daughter; Deerskin; The Outlaws of Sherwood; and the short story collections The Door in the Hedge; A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories; and, with her husband, the author Peter Dickinson, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits. She lives in England with her husband, three whippets, and over five hundred rosebushes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 4 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 6 April 2001
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
This is one of my favourite books. I first read my sister's copy of the book, and after about our 7th fight over it, I decided to get my own copy. McKinley has embued the fictional land of Damar with a sense of history and geography, essential in a story that catches the imagination. Add to that richly sympathetic characters, a strong heroine, and a plot that keeps you turning the pages and you have a book that will live, if not forever, at least a very, very long time.
(One last thing, if you are an arrogant, overly-self-confident type of being, who has never experienced that sense of not belonging in your own life, you won't get this book. I feel sorry for you.)
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Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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