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The Hero and the Crown Paperback – January 2, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 486 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Damar Series

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Editorial Reviews

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

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1120 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (January 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441013058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441013050
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (486 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is, I believe, Robin McKinley's magnum opus. This book is often hard to locate, buried in the young adult section where it only half-belongs. Yes, this tale is about a teenage heroine, but the subject matter, her trials and emotions, are not limited to that audience. (Note to booksellers-By the way, most avid young adult sci-fi and fantasy fans have been reading from the adult section for years-you might do better to rethink the placement of these types of books.) Anyway, this novel tels the story of Aerin, arguably one of the most well-written and believable heroines out there. Her feelings of ineptitude and clumsiness are universal, yet her unknown powers don't develop miraculously, deus ex machina style, but are fought for and gained as a result of this fight. The narrative twists and turns in surprising ways, and the tale doesn't always turn out the way we originally think it will, and yet the turns never feel out of place. This is a novel from a whole other world, and yet it feels real. The characters are true-to-life and honestly drawn by this masterful author. This book would definitely draw someone into the fantasy genre.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever read a book as a child that still managed to resonate as an adult? "Hero and the Crown" was one such book for me. I can still remember reading it as an 11 year old, and presenting a shoe box diorama of the showdown between Aerin and the Dragon in my reading class. While the strong feminist principles were not quite understood as an 11 year old, they are today. Even re-reading it now, you cheer for Aerin as she begins to understand her place in the world, and how what others say really doesn't matter. She longs to be more than the sum of her parts, and proves to be more than capable not only to herself, but to her father and the Damarians.
Great example of Robin McKinley's writing, that transcends age and sex, and is a worthy adventure/fantasy for everyone.
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Format: Paperback
You'll have to forgive me for my less than poetic review title, but there's only one way to say it -- for my money, this may be the best novel ever written.
I discovered this book when I was in the sixth grade, and I have read it at least two or three times a year, ever since. I'm now 23, and the book has lost none of its power or magic in all of those readings. If anything, it's only gotten more powerful, as the subtleties of Aerin's story become more clear with time and experience.
A richly written novel with excellently rendered characters, this book is perfect for a reader of any age or gender. But I would like to point out that it may be especially good for young women -- Aerin is no passive heroine, and although she struggles to understand her place as a woman and a daughter in her father's court, she does not "buckle" to the pressures of society. Instead, she becomes simply -herself-, and her people love and respect her all the more for her voice and accomplishments. That's a message that a lot of young women these days need to hear -- I know it's one that I needed, and this is one book that has helped me become who I am, without apologies.
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Format: Paperback
For years this book sat on the shelf of my high school's library staring at me while I obstinantly refused to read it. It's not that I didn't like fantasy; it's just that I had had a few bad encounters in the past with "feminist" fantasy (e.g. Marion Zimmer Bradley), and I wasn't interested in reading another grrl power, male-bashing fantasy novel. I must have just assumed it was like that since it had a female heroine.
Finally, years later (I'm 22 now) I returned to it with a more open mind and a positive review from my wife. I thought it was one of the most captivating fantasy novels I've read. I couldn't put it down. If you've ever felt like the outcast among your peers or like you just don't fit in you'll be able to identify with the main character. If you're introverted and prefer the company of books to people (and many of the people who will bother to read this book are like this) then you will find a soul mate in Aerin. It doesn't matter if you're a guy or a girl, this book will appeal to anyone who likes a good story and knows what it's like to have to "prove" yourself in order to gain acceptance.
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By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like some other readers, I just have to keep coming back to this book; I usually read it and The Blue Sword about once a year (usually shortly after I finish rereading the Anne of Green Gables books or Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles).
McKinley's non-chronological arrangement of events does make the first read a little confusing but it's worth it; once you know the general outline of the story it's a great read, so stick with it. There are dark parts of the book, certainly, but dark isn't always bad and it can be thrilling.
The Hero and the Crown isn't meant (I think) to be the Great American Novel. It's an adventure story with some heart and some brain and a heroine who discovers strength she didn't know she possessed, and it's always entertaining. Highly recommended, as is The Blue Sword. I didn't care for Deerskin and am impatiently awaiting McKinley's next book in the series.
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