Customer Reviews


296 Reviews
5 star:
 (234)
4 star:
 (39)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An AMAZING story like never before!
I am not a fan of science fiction, but this story is completely amazing! Having first read The Hero and the Crown in 7th grade, I had already liked Robin McKinley's writing style. But I was completely unprepared for this book when I read it a year later. It's now been 12 years since then and I have never forgotten it. It tells the story of this young girl, Harry, who...
Published on May 6, 2000

versus
24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bland heroine in a Well-crafted setting
After hearing wonderful things about this book for years, I finally picked it up to read. The main character of the story, Harry, is an orphaned girl sent to live with Lord Charles and Lady Amelia in the desert of Damar, a land currently occupied by Outlanders. There, she idles away her days as a member of society similar to Victorian British occupation. And while she...
Published on October 3, 2001 by B-Track


‹ Previous | 1 230 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An AMAZING story like never before!, May 6, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
I am not a fan of science fiction, but this story is completely amazing! Having first read The Hero and the Crown in 7th grade, I had already liked Robin McKinley's writing style. But I was completely unprepared for this book when I read it a year later. It's now been 12 years since then and I have never forgotten it. It tells the story of this young girl, Harry, who feels like if she is missing something in her life. Now the first 3 chapters are a little slow but then, enters Corlath, golden-eyed king of Damar. Here is where the action begins. He possesses unusual powers of the mind and one look at Harry makes him realize she is the one who can wield the Blue Sword whose power is needed to save his country. So he kidnaps her and there begins an adventurous tale across a desert and mountains containing fight scenes, comedy, a magic sword, and a dash of romance. I completely got sucked into this imaginary world. It's a page turner, you won't put down. Never have I come across a book like this one and have been hoping all these years for a third part to continue the heroine tales of Damar. Tattered and with loose pages, I still read my poor book whenever I get a chance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best fantasy books I've ever encountered, November 22, 2002
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
At first Harry Crewe is not so different than a number of heroines you've probably met in your reading adventures. She's an orphan who must make a new life in a new place. This is difficult for a girl who has never really seemed to fit in anywhere. She longs constantly for something she can't quite name. All that sounds typical, right?
Well, it's what happens next that will make this a book you won't soon forget...and it's nothing even close to typical.
Almost by accident, Harry catches the eye of Corlath, King of the Hillfolk, who cannot seem to forget the woman. He returns for her and carries her off across the desert. Harry finds the culture strangely second nature and herself connecting with the King as no one else appears able to. Harry is surprised when the King begins having her trained as a warrior, and downright shocked when she becomes one of the best warriors in her new country's history. As war looms on the horizon and Harry finds herself falling in love with her King, she risks his wrath and her life on a daring mission she was forbidden to undertake. And all that is only a scratch on the surface of a truly engaging fantasy novel that kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put it down., January 9, 1998
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Blue Sword" is about Angharad -- Harry -- Crewe, a recently orphaned young lady who moves to the desert area of the continent Damar. By chance she locks eyes with Corlath, the Hill-King, who had come to visit the residency. It was, perhaps, fate, but it changes their lives forever. To tell you any more might give it away, but you can always read the book jacket. This book was interesting in the beginning, and soon graduated to compelling and then impossible-to-put-down. I was reading this on a school night and used up 2 hours of precious homework time because I just HAD to know what happened. All the right details were there, but so subtle that it the end was a pleasant surprise. The writing was so vivid that you could feel your heart racing during the exciting parts. You have to read this book at least 3 times to get all the details. Then read Robin McKinley's other books to get a true appreciation for her wonderful writing talent.
--Abigail Short
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing., March 27, 2006
By 
Diana M. (Louisville, KY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
In seventh grade, I discovered magic with this book. It was the first fantasy book I ever picked up, and it effectively defined my future in immeasurable ways- because fantasy/sci-fi books have truly changed my life.

In eighth grade, I shoved this book at every friend I knew, so they'd read it, too.

Freshman year, I donated my copy to a shelter that had lost their library, because I thought it needed to be shared.

Four years later, I can still pick up this book and become absolutely, shamelessly enthralled all over again. The story seems clichéd at first, but clichés don't catch and hold your attention for as many years as I have been able to enjoy The Blue Sword.

Harry Crewe may be an orphan discovering an ability she needs to help a country in trouble, but she's a delightfully unique character (proof in her desire to be called Harry, not her given name, Angharad) that manages to avoid each and every trite, over-used, repeated female lead character personality trait. She's determined without being obnoxious and overbearing, confident without being arrogant, and even when her confidence falters, she never once becomes the wimpy, whiny princess in need of being rescued. She has human feelings, doubt, fear, and anger...and overcomes each of them with maturity and strength. She's such a real character, but at the same time, is the ideal any girl wants to be in the place of, which is part of the reason why this book is so enjoyable.

Corlath and his kingdom of Damar are fascinating, and leave you rooting for both throughout the entire book. You'll fall in love with the desert and its delightful language, and come to admire the king who's trying to unite his formerly scattered country against a threat. The land of Damar, which is called Daria by the Homelanders (colonials who have come from Home to 'civilize' the country, who don't understand or believe in magic) is exotic but always understandable. Unlike many fantasy books, you don't get lost trying to figure out which mystic city is connected to what magic plant etc, etc. The connections between the threatening demon magic of the north, the industrial strength of the Homelanders, and the 'kelar' of the Hillfolk whom Harry is cast in with, are amazingly fun to follow along with.

Narknon, the porridge-loving, entirely independent hunting cat, is just as fascinating a character as the king and the Homelander Harry. Everything, in fact, is so well-developed that it becomes fascinating. It's so well thought-out, so believable, that if you're anything like me, once you read it, it will be a favorite for years to come. My only regret is that there isn't more to read, because I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I have 6 stars??, July 17, 2001
By 
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Hardcover)
This is my very favorite book. In seventh grade, we had had to read The Hero and the Crown for a core novel. I loved that book too, so I started reading all of Robin McKinley's books. They all rock. This is my favorite of her books, and of every book I've ever read, which increases by two at least every week. Anyways, in the Blue Sword, Harry Crewe is an orphan who travels to thhe edge of her country to be with her brother. This country borders Daria, the land from the Hero and the Crown where Aerin and Tor met and fell in love. For some reason Harry feels connected to the desert land, and loves it more than anything she ever has before. When the Darian king, Corlath comes to try and get the help of her land, she meets him. While he's walking by her in his haste to leave, their eyes meet. Because Corlath has "powers", he knows that Harry in involved in his future. So he comes back and kidnaps her, bringing her to his land, where her destiny lays. I can't really tell much more about the plot, because that would give away the book. Even though I've already told a lot, this is probably the first 15 or 20 pages. There's a lot of action and romance in this book, which I think ends the book perfectly. I recommend this book to any fantasy lover. Even though The Hero and the Crown was published after this book, you have to read The Hero and the Crown first.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book, June 15, 2002
By 
M. Cookson (Colorado Springs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
This is, I believe, Robin McKinley's best book. I've read it several times and have enjoyed it each time. Harry is an amazing character and sometimes seems beyond belief. Although she is kidnapped for a reason unknown to her, she never questions Corlath, the king who took her from her room in the Homelander outpost, about it. Her reaction does not, however, seem out of place. The magic that made Corlath take Harry from the outpost is guiding her as well, and in about 8 months she goes from being a somewhat restless girl with nothing to do but attend parties and ride her pony to being a warrior capable of commanding the loyalty of an army.
Through Harry, the author does an intensive exploration of the Free Hillfolk culture. There are details about the food, the language, the way they ride their horses, and more. It doesn't feel overdone at all. There are a few parts of the book that are from Corlath's point of view, but mos of it is from Harry's. It makes Corlath even more of an interesting character because you find out just enough about what he thinks of the situation (especially the kidnapping) that you don't end up hating him, but not enough for him to become as familiar as Harry. The magic in this book was fascinating, because it's more of a curse that anything. No one who can use it has much control over it, beyond keeping it from incinerating others on accident; it most useful in battle, but it seems to have a mind of its own. In most books that have magic in them, magic is something you work to gain control over, and it tends to be useful for a lot of things. Reading this book was very refreshing. The magic users can't use their magic to solve every problem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best books I have ever read in my life, April 26, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
Okay. I have read some of the other reviews, and from what I have seen none of the people who gave the book a bad review actually read it. So here is the actual truth from someone who knows what they are talking about.
The main character is Harry Crewe, a young, inexperienced, rather plain girl. She is orphaned and is taken under the wing of a military couple who live on the exotic desert frontier. Harry doesn't quite fit in. Once she gets to Damar, she finds out that there are rising tensions between the military and the natives. Harry ends up getting magically kidnapped out of her bedroom by the king of the natives, a certain Corlath.
Corlath is no ordinary king. He has a magic gift that helps him out all the time. He didn't really want to kidnap Harry but his "gift" insisted that he did. So he kidnaps her and Harry isn't really that broken up about it, but she is confused why she is there. She adapts quickly. Soon Harry starts having visions, with the help of some malak, or "seeing water", of Aerin, the legendary queen of Damar. Because of this, Corlath starts teaching Harry how to be a warrior, giving her a war horse, Sungold, who she loves, and sending her into the mountains with one of the king's trusted kind of knight guys.
Anyway, Harry proves herself, and eventually ends up saving all of Damar, all the while struggling with her feelings about her duty to Corlath and his people and also her duty to the people she left behind. I would tell more, but it would ruin the book. Just remember, it may be a little slow at first for some people, but it is worth it, oh so worth it, to continue reading. I love this book so much. It it realistic and full of adventure, but is at the same time a beautiful fairy tale that took my breath away.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gonturan is Da Bomb!, November 24, 1999
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a die hard fantasy lover and read almost more than I sleep, so I'm not kidding when I say The Blue Sword is THE best book I've ever read. I first received this novel on my 12th birthday and am on my 7th time reading it (I turn 14 in two months, you do the math). Good characterization, carefully laid out plot, and vivid description has won my vote in its favor. I especially enjoyed how each of the characters' roles, human and animal alike, were fitted into the whole scenerio as the story progressed. I also liked how Gonturan (the Blue Sword) was given a life of its own; however outrageous it may be, but well related to the cause. May the tales of Damar live forever! I look forward to Mrs. McKinley's future works!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of a Great Book, April 4, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
A Review by Tara
The book follows the adventures and awakening of Harry Crewe, a girl with past even stranger than her name. Taken from her boring life in a desert manor by the wild Hillfolk, she awakens to her past and a strange �gift� only found in native Hillfolk. Upon visions of a great battle, she is taken into the desert for training for an epic battle to come�
This was an excellent book. I�ve no complaints, save that it got a bit slow in the middle as the party was journeying towards the battle. The male characters were definitely well developed. For example, the writer delves into a bit of Corlath�s (a supporting character) history and his struggles with his �gift�. The way that it was written virtually painted a whole new world in front of the reader�s eyes, yet leaving just enough familiarity as to not leave one feeling alienated. For example, they live on a completely different world, but still have trains, radios, and etcetera. The writer did a very good job with this.
I recommend this book to a slightly older audience because of large words and perhaps concepts the younger readers might not understand. I think generally around the high school level would be a age range. People who like epics, such as Lord of the rings or Dune would most likely enjoy this book as well as those simply looking for an involved adventure. Having both male and female main characters makes this book desirable to both genders. Over all a great book. Read it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adding My Voice, February 8, 2000
This review is from: The Blue Sword (Mass Market Paperback)
Adding my voice to the chorus of reviews, all i can say is "Me Too -- What They Said".
But i can say it a little more elaborately than that.
Robin McKinley burst on the scene with "Beauty", a wonderful retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from Beauty's standpoint.
And then she gave us "The Blue Sword" -- even better, even stronger, even more compelling.
In a world that is not *quite* our own, orphaned Harry is heading out into the wilds of what is *almost* India to live with a senior officer and his wife on an outpost fort where her brother is also assigned -- a fort on the border with the mysterious (and some say magical) realm of Damar.
The opening chapters begin as a light-hearted tribute to the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer, but odd and dark elements begin to make themselves felt...
Until Harry is kidnapped by the King of Damar, acting on the prompting of the second sight that is the mark of his family line.
Travelling among her captors to the capital city of Damar, Harry finds that she seems to fit in with them, that she has odd experiences that her stout Homelander skepticism cannot explain.
And once home in Damar, The King sets one of his household men to train Harry to be a horse-back warrior in the way of their people, because his second sight and visions that she has had tell him that she must take a vital part in a coming war against an army of half-human changelings and demons that is poised to invade his realm.
Swashbuckling adventure in the grand manner, but often just a *bit* tongue-in-cheek, a wonderful read, a book to come back to again and again.
I recommend buying the library edition -- it's only a little more expensive, and it will stand up to the multiple re-readings you'll probably give it better than the paperback will.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 230 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Blue Sword
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (Mass Market Paperback - Mar. 1987)
$7.99 $7.19
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.