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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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The Blue Sword Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1987

4.7 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Damar Series

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Editorial Reviews

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 the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (March 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441068804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441068807
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: 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
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Format: 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.
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