Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Harry's father dies and she is sent to Daria. Once in Daria she begins to love the country although she does find herself a bit bored. Then she is abducted by the local king and grows to become a strong commander and legend among his people in her own right.

I finished this book last night and it was completely amazing. This is another book that I wasn't sure what to think about because I had heard that a lot of people weren't happy when it was awarded the Newberry and I think that's because it's high fantasy which doesn't appeal to everyone but I still think people should give it a chance.

The world building in this book was just amazing. From the depictions of the dry, windy desert of Damaria, to the stark differences between the Homelanders' very proper and polite society to Corlath's people's more equal and almost Arabian society, and the haunting descriptions of the evil northerners and their demonic mounts I just felt like I could picture everything that was going on, and imagine it as a place I might want to visit someday.

Reading about how Harry grows from someone who considers herself a misfit for being a bright girl who likes to keep busy to a both physically and mentally strong young woman but becomes a leader in her own right. She is willing to risk anything and everything to do what she thinks is right. Many of the minor characters are fully fleshed out as well, with both Harry's horse and a cat that adopts her having very strong personalities even though they aren't anthropomorphized in any way.

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