Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Review: Blue Sword

As a follow-up note to my previous review of The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, I thought I would also write about the book's prequel, The Blue Sword.

The Blue Sword takes place generations after the events of Hero; Aerin is a legend and the former land of Damar is part of the Homeland empire. After her father dies, Harry Crewe is sent there to live with her soldier brother. She is drawn to the hills and to the free-folk who live there, and their king, Corlath, is in return drawn to her. He abducts her, trains her, and she becomes Harimad-sol, the first woman since Aerin to wield the blue sword.

This is a fun book to read -- the story is interesting and the people and places feel real. Unlike my experience with Hero, however, I first read this book as teenager, not as a kid. I think that may be why I couldn't get past Corlath kidnapping Harry, which is a very pivotal plot point. While I enjoyed the book, this event colored my opinion of the characters and because of it, I had a hard time with the ending. Maybe some authors can gloss over difficult subjects in their books for younger readers, but Robin McKinley is generally good about confronting them head on and I thought this was a bit of a cop out. None of this is to say that I don't think its a good book; it is and I recommend it to any young adult reader. I just think it could have been better.

As a side note, the question may come up of which book should you read first -- Hero, since its first chronologically or Sword, as it was written first? This is probably my bias since this is how I read them, but I would suggest reading Hero first, especially for younger readers. Both books stand alone pretty well, though, so its fine either way.

Buy The Blue Sword on Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to get comments and welcome them on any of my posts. There is comment moderation on posts older than 14 days, but your comments will appear immediately on current posts.

Due to th eabsolutely insane number of spam comments I have been getting recently, I have unfortunately had to turn on word verification. Please email me if you have problems posting a comment.