Book Reviews of The Blue Sword

The Blue Sword
The Blue Sword
Author: Robin McKinley
ISBN-13: 9780688009380
ISBN-10: 0688009387
Publication Date: 10/1/1982
Pages: 320
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 18

4.4 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Greenwillow
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

35 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Blue Sword on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I first read this book and The Hero and the Crown when I was a preteen and I still absolutely adore both and have them as keepers and often go back and read them when I just want to relax with an old friend.

Harry is a great character who you want to smack upside the head or hug tight depending on the moment. I personally think that you should read Hero before this one but I know the author wrote them the other way around.
reviewed The Blue Sword on
Helpful Score: 4
I remember I really enjoyed reading this book a few years ago, as a freshman in highschool. It was a little slow at first, but later on I couldn't put it down. I would recommend it to a young adult or teen who likes their books full of adventure and topped with a little romance.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A TERRIFIC read for young adults/teens as well as adults. This story intertwines with The Hero and the Crown by the same author (one of my ALL TIME favorite books) and is also deserving of accolades. Robin McKinley is a superb writer who has a knack for drawing you into the story and making you never want to leave. There's fantasy and magic, royalty and duty, mystical folk, daring escapades, amazing horses, true love, and excitement - all waiting to be had!!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Oh man, this book was so fun! Not an intellectual read, but lots of fun!!!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a book were I read the whole thing waiting for something to happen and when I finished it, I wondered what had happened. It was a good thought and several aspects were enjoyable, but I think that McKinley didn't know which direction to go and decided to not chose a direction at all.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors, but this is very different from her other books because it is more similar to epic and high fantasy then were other works. It's sequel is "The Hero and the Crown."
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A great book when you want something a little out of the ordinary!
reviewed The Blue Sword on
Helpful Score: 2
Lots of horsey sword stuff, not so much sorcery, but there is some in this book. Great desert setting, has an old-timey Arabia feeling. The writing is smooth and the action reasonably fast. I'd definitely recommend this book as good mind candy.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Romance and scifi in one! What more could you ask for? And the war depicted in this book is very realistic, similar to the struggle between the english and native indians in america.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The Blue Sword is set in the same universe as The Hero and the Crown, but far into the future. Despite that, this book comes before Hero and the Crown. The story is about a young girl who never felt that she really fit in until she goes to stay with a family in the desert where her brother is stationed. One night she's kidnapped by one of the local tribes' king. While staying with them she is trained to fight in the hopes that she'll be able to help them fight off the people from the North, who are the enemy of everyone. It's a really good book, one of my favorites in fact, but it does a LOT of jumping around until you feel like you've just missed the point entirely. She also mentions things that are never and will never be explained, and only make a bit more sense when you've read Hero and the Crown.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
McKinley's two Damar books are what I like to call comfort books: a good story, generally uplifting, and perfect for a long evening, a warm blanket, and a cup of hot cocoa.

McKinley's writing style is elegant and vivid, and the story melds all the right elements: adventure, heroism, magic, romance that isn't the focal point of the story, and just enough culture, background, and miscellaneous odds and ends to draw a reader into the world. And if you're like me and appreciate that sort of thing, it has a *strong* *female* lead (like Cordelia in Buljold's Vorkosigan series, or Delenn from Babylon 5 *before* her love for Sheridan becomes the focal point of the character).
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, they dont really write high fantasy as they used to, now do they? There has to be a reason that Robin McKinleys THE BLUE SWORD, first published in the 1980s, is still being widely read and adored, and that is because it is arguably the absolute best in its genre, an unmatched blend of strong characters, political intrigue, and quite simply the best damn fantasy world ever imagined and written.

Its 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 McKinleys 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 worldbuildingthe politics, myths, fashions, traditions, everyday dutiesis entrancing. McKinley inspires awe in readers.

Harry, of course, serves for many as the blueprint of the admirable fantasy heroine. True, at times it feels like the mysterious magic of Damar is carrying her along, instead of her leading it. But her magnanimity, her determination to succeed even as she does not completely understand whats happening to her, is inarguably admirable. Corlaths appeal, I think, comes less from his specific characteristics, and more from his inexplicable status as the archetypal complement to Harrys heroine role. However little or much we perceive of Harry and Corlaths personalities, beliefs, or desires, however, they are a pair for whom we feel absolute sympathy.

I have little more to say because I feel like this is one of those instances where the more I try to examine what made this book move me so, the less impressed I will be by it. So Ill just say that the scope of what it accomplishes is unparalleled, and if you read it at the right stage of lifesay, on the brink of adolescence, just when youre searching for a role modelthen THE BLUE SWORD will undoubtedly become your bible of sorts.
reviewed The Blue Sword on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a stellar read! I first found it on a friend's bookshelf; after reading it, I had to go out and find myself a copy!

Robin McKinley writes with care; both exciting and stimulating. What makes this interesting is that you can read it quickly for the story - and your first readthrough will probably be quick, because of the pace! - or you can read slowly, and enjoy Ms. McKinley's fabulous command of simile and word picture. It seems that she takes great care to insert a lot of nuance and feeling into her work. in my re-read, I enjoyed the extra insights into Harry's mind that I had missed the first time thru.

Highly recommended!
reviewed The Blue Sword on
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book in a fantasy literature class in college and loved it. Don't quit after the first chapter, I almost did. If you can get past that things get clearer and the book is absolutely wonderful. This was one that I didn't sell back to the bookstore. ; )
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book - I loved it
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, they dont really write high fantasy as they used to, now do they? There has to be a reason that Robin McKinleys THE BLUE SWORD, first published in the 1980s, is still being widely read and adored, and that is because it is arguably the absolute best in its genre, an unmatched blend of strong characters, political intrigue, and quite simply the best damn fantasy world ever imagined and written.

Its 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 McKinleys 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 worldbuildingthe politics, myths, fashions, traditions, everyday dutiesis entrancing. McKinley inspires awe in readers.

Harry, of course, serves for many as the blueprint of the admirable fantasy heroine. True, at times it feels like the mysterious magic of Damar is carrying her along, instead of her leading it. But her magnanimity, her determination to succeed even as she does not completely understand whats happening to her, is inarguably admirable. Corlaths appeal, I think, comes less from his specific characteristics, and more from his inexplicable status as the archetypal complement to Harrys heroine role. However little or much we perceive of Harry and Corlaths personalities, beliefs, or desires, however, they are a pair for whom we feel absolute sympathy.

I have little more to say because I feel like this is one of those instances where the more I try to examine what made this book move me so, the less impressed I will be by it. So Ill just say that the scope of what it accomplishes is unparalleled, and if you read it at the right stage of lifesay, on the brink of adolescence, just when youre searching for a role modelthen THE BLUE SWORD will undoubtedly become your bible of sorts.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like fantasy, why haven't you read this? This takes place after "The Hero and the Sword", but is the first book in the duology.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a classic book of fantasy that is very well written. This is a book that I find myself reading over and over again.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 279 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have only recently started reading Robin McKinley's work but I am glad I found them. I know that they are marked for young adults or teenagers, but that should not stop anyone from enjoying the way this woman writes.

When you open one of these books by three pages into reading the characters and places are staring back at you. I have never read an author I found so easy to get into the prose and see the story go across my eyes.

The plot is Harry a girl who is restless and with no real future ahead of her. Just trying to make it through one day to the next gets swept up by way of extra-sensory sight into this huge adventure. She learns who she is and what she can really do by being thrown into a strange and foreign culture. I cared very much for what happened to this girl as she grew straight and strong. I felt sort of like a teenager myself as I was reading it. Remembering what it was like getting to know my own self and my own likes.

Take this book for what it is and it won't let you down.

:)
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
YA fantasy epic, well-written and imaginative.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 962 more book reviews
Well, they dont really write high fantasy as they used to, now do they? There has to be a reason that Robin McKinleys THE BLUE SWORD, first published in the 1980s, is still being widely read and adored, and that is because it is arguably the absolute best in its genre, an unmatched blend of strong characters, political intrigue, and quite simply the best damn fantasy world ever imagined and written.

Its 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 McKinleys 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 worldbuildingthe politics, myths, fashions, traditions, everyday dutiesis entrancing. McKinley inspires awe in readers.

Harry, of course, serves for many as the blueprint of the admirable fantasy heroine. True, at times it feels like the mysterious magic of Damar is carrying her along, instead of her leading it. But her magnanimity, her determination to succeed even as she does not completely understand whats happening to her, is inarguably admirable. Corlaths appeal, I think, comes less from his specific characteristics, and more from his inexplicable status as the archetypal complement to Harrys heroine role. However little or much we perceive of Harry and Corlaths personalities, beliefs, or desires, however, they are a pair for whom we feel absolute sympathy.

I have little more to say because I feel like this is one of those instances where the more I try to examine what made this book move me so, the less impressed I will be by it. So Ill just say that the scope of what it accomplishes is unparalleled, and if you read it at the right stage of lifesay, on the brink of adolescence, just when youre searching for a role modelthen THE BLUE SWORD will undoubtedly become your bible of sorts.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 157 more book reviews
Great book, fine story, great characters. Magic and a bit of romance and a teen girl learning her heritage.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 962 more book reviews
Well, they dont really write high fantasy as they used to, now do they? There has to be a reason that Robin McKinleys THE BLUE SWORD, first published in the 1980s, is still being widely read and adored, and that is because it is arguably the absolute best in its genre, an unmatched blend of strong characters, political intrigue, and quite simply the best damn fantasy world ever imagined and written.

Its 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 McKinleys 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 worldbuildingthe politics, myths, fashions, traditions, everyday dutiesis entrancing. McKinley inspires awe in readers.

Harry, of course, serves for many as the blueprint of the admirable fantasy heroine. True, at times it feels like the mysterious magic of Damar is carrying her along, instead of her leading it. But her magnanimity, her determination to succeed even as she does not completely understand whats happening to her, is inarguably admirable. Corlaths appeal, I think, comes less from his specific characteristics, and more from his inexplicable status as the archetypal complement to Harrys heroine role. However little or much we perceive of Harry and Corlaths personalities, beliefs, or desires, however, they are a pair for whom we feel absolute sympathy.

I have little more to say because I feel like this is one of those instances where the more I try to examine what made this book move me so, the less impressed I will be by it. So Ill just say that the scope of what it accomplishes is unparalleled, and if you read it at the right stage of lifesay, on the brink of adolescence, just when youre searching for a role modelthen THE BLUE SWORD will undoubtedly become your bible of sorts.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 2 more book reviews
This book is amazing! I love the glimpses the audience gets of an unfamiliar culture. However, what I most enjoy about this book is the main character. Harry is strong yet emotional, and naive yet clever. Simply put, Harry Crewe is one of the very few female protagonists in the Fantasy genre that I adore, let alone find compelling. I would recommend this book to Fantasy lovers as well as Young Adult readers.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 5 more book reviews
This a wonderful book and one of my favorites. It's fantasy and adventure in away you can believe, and just a pinch of romance to make it complete it all. Overall, it's a good read for when you've nothing better to do.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 38 more book reviews
Wonderful, Wonderful Story. Strong Can Do Girl! Loved it!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 9 more book reviews
My all time favorite book! Full of adventure!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 7 more book reviews
This is a well written and enjoyable book. The characters are well developed and the action is believable. Very readable and hard to put down.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 38 more book reviews
Love Mckinley's books. More good stuff.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 87 more book reviews
For those who love Robin McKinley, this is one of her "must have" books. For those who don't know her but enjoy fantasy novels..you will not be disappointed by this book. If you enjoy books by authors like Terry Brooks or Anthony Piers then you should give this book a chance and you may find you want to read some of her other novels afterward as well.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 27 more book reviews
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Free Hillfolk. When Corlath, the Hillfolk King, sees her for the first time, he is shaken - for he can tell that she is something more than she appears to be. He will soon realize what Harry has never guessed: She is to become Harimad-sol, King's Rider, and carry the Blue Sword, Gonturan, which no woman has wielded since the legendary Lady Aerin, generations past...

** I've actually never read this book, so my rating of 5 is average by default **
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 21 more book reviews
Love this wonderful blend of realism and fantasy with its strong heroine. It is one of my daughter's favorite books - and mine!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 897 more book reviews
Harry is not entirely happy living with her aunt and uncle because she doesn't feel that she belongs in this place, in this time, and with this family. A visit from a stranger changes that when she is later kidnapped. What is it about Harry that appeals to Corlath, king of the Hillfolk, who had visited her uncle hoping to create an alliance against an impending foe and the war ahead? He's not quite certain but knows that her destiny is linked with that of his people.

As life changes for Harry, she learns to live with the Hillfolk, finding it strangely satisfying. I liked this character very much. She is independent, strong, and thinks for herself as she gains the respect of those who teach her the ways of the Hillfolk. War comes and Harry, her brother, along with others who love her believe in her do make a difference. What that difference is remains to the next reader to discover. The story is simple, easy to read and most entertaining. Of course, I am a Robin McKinley fan which prompts me to pick up her work. Good read!
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 65 more book reviews
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 Homelander orphan girl who became Harimad-sol, King's Rider, and heir to the Blue Sword, Gonturan, that no woman had wielded since Lady Aerin herself bore it into battle. And this is the song of the kelar of the Hillfolk, the magic of the blood, the weaver of destinies.
reviewed The Blue Sword on + 100 more book reviews
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?