Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hero and the Crown” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Hero and the Crown
Robin McKinley
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hero and the Crown (Damar #2)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  44,368 Ratings  ·  1,860 Reviews
From childhood, Aerin had been haunted by the story of her mother-a "witchwoman" who enspelled the king and then died in childbirth, leaving behind a newborn daughter and an heirless land. Left to her own devices, Aerin grew up wild, doing her best to live up to her reputation as the disappointment of the realm. But little did the young princess know the long-dormant power ...more
Library Binding, 0 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Bt Bound (first published 1984)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hero and the Crown, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Melissa I read this as required reading in middle school for 7th grade English but I think adults would like it if it is a genre they enjoy. This was one of…moreI read this as required reading in middle school for 7th grade English but I think adults would like it if it is a genre they enjoy. This was one of the first fantasy novels I had read and I absolutely hated it though.(less)
Mekiah Johnson You can order it on amazon, get it from your local bookstore, get it on a device, if that answers your question. You can also get it at a thrift…moreYou can order it on amazon, get it from your local bookstore, get it on a device, if that answers your question. You can also get it at a thrift store, which is where I got my copy. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
mark monday
First wave feminist novel The Hero and the Crown recognizes the intrinsic right for protagonist Aerin to have a say in the destiny of her country, regardless of her gender.

Second wave feminist novel The Hero and the Crown illustrates how Aerin is the equal of any man in the patriarchal land of Damar - indeed, she is the equal of any man, anywhere.

Third wave feminist novel The Hero and the Crown celebrates Aerin's sexuality, her ability to move beyond prescribed, essentialist notions of gender ro
Jun 19, 2007 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: feminist, fantasy
When I was a kid, I frequented two areas of the library: the children's section and the adult fiction section. The young adult shelves and the nonfiction shelves might as well have been made of glass for all I noticed them.

One year when I was in my early teens, the family was getting ready to go on the dreaded yearly camping trip. "Dreaded" because it meant a week in the outdoors, with no books. Well, almost no books: Mom's rule was that we each could take two—only two??—so we spent hours dawdli
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this when I was young and disgruntled, reading two or three books a day to avoid talking to my classmates. It was basically the perfect time to read this story, which tells the tale of a young woman who is not understood by her people and is deeply unhappy about it. And when I read this, it was one of very few books that spoke to me in a voice I could actually empathize with. All the other fantasy I was reading featured boys tramping across pseudo-English countryside before being crowned ...more
Emily Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy with strong heroines
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2010, newbery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Althea Ann
Feb 17, 2013 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book when it was first published, in hardcover.

At the time, 'The Blue Sword' (to which this is a prequel) was one of my most-beloved books - and, I have to admit, that at the time, I didn't feel the 'The Hero and the Crown' quite measured up. I liked it - but just not quite as much. (It's not like I didn't read it several times, though.)

Re-reading, years later, I understand why I felt the way I did - but I also kind of disagree with my youthful opinion. This is a wonderful book.

I loved this book as a kid and I love it still as an adult. It's one of those books that's so much a part of my life that it's hard for me to believe that not everyone has read it. Maur still creeps me out, Talat still makes me teary, and Aerin's surka rash as she climbs the tower remains the best thing ever.
young princess who feels like a misfit, teaches herself to fight dragons, befriends animals left&right, finds love twice, overcomes a villain from her family's past, follows her known duty rather than pursue unknown's really not as dry as I'm summarizing.

beautifully and dreamily written. I remember reading this and wanting to fight dragons. a big surprise when I re-read years later and still enjoyed it, still found the heroine a sympathetic character. good messages about not tak
I got a copy of this in 6th or 7th grade. I've read it so many times that it is being held together by a rubber band. I enjoyed it because it was the first real fantasy book I read where the hero is a young woman. She's not just the sidekick, but the hero. She's also flawed and not supergirl or ravishing beautiful. It's a wonderful book because of that. In many ways, it is the perfect book for any quiet girl simply because a loner, an outcast proves herself needed. Perhaps the success of the boo ...more
Nov 22, 2014 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Wow, I don't know why I didn't really like The Hero and the Crown very much on the first go round. It's full of all the kinds of things I love: love stories that aren't just simple love-at-first-sight or we-grew-up-together-and-now-we're-in-love, but something more complicated that that; a world with a history and a future, outside of what we've got; a heroine who works through flaws and barriers to become a hero. And the last sentences -- ach! Lovely.

It's not some straightforward children's sto
Jun 17, 2014 Jocelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Despite the three star rating, part of me really, really wants to rant. I feel like I have something to get out of my system.

Yes, my status updates mostly indicated joy and contentment with this book. But notice, only for the first half! I liked the first half. I might even have loved it, because coming-of-age stories about nerdy, awkward girls who don't belong almost always resonate with me. I was a nerdy, awkward girl who didn't belong and I kind of still am. That bias is probably a huge part
The book that made me say, I want to do that, I want to be her (both Aerin, the Hero, and Robin, the Author). This is the book that made me love fantasy, dragons, everything.
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 15, 2008 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, fantasy
This is the first time I've read this book as an adult—mostly because I love, love, love The Blue Sword and this book kind of goes out of its way to undermine expectations set by that book for Damar's past. I didn't remember much of this book—mostly just a vague sense of this not being my expected Damar, really (because my memory really sucks, not because the book isn't memorable).

So I was gratified that the book holds up so well. Better, really, because I came away from it not only renewing my
Dec 27, 2009 H. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A reader might well leave this Damar prequel feeling dazed and uncertain of what to make of the jumble of rises and falls and meandering sidestories and climaxes, but a vigorous shake of the head will allow the book to be seen as two distinct halves: Part 1) The fantastic set-up. Part 2) The frustratingly sloppy, nonsensical, disappointing end/end? Until the story's first climax, McKinley gives us everything: a relatable, charismatic, admirable heroine who's so scrappy and determined we can't he ...more
Jun 25, 2010 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club
Aerin may be the king's daughter, but you wouldn't know it from the looks, the stares, the snickers, the pranks, or the court gossip. Her father loved and married Aerin's mother after his first wife died childless. But being from the North, of unknown heritage and lineage, suspicions of witchcraft at worst and being a commoner at best, followed Aerin like a fog of misery. Her royal Gift failed to manifest as she entered and traversed adolescence, which further fueled the rumors of her inadequate ...more
Oct 26, 2008 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never doubted for a moment where this book was going, but McKinley's hand at the wheel was so sure I didn't mind going along for the ride. Her characters were multi-faceted and enjoyable to read about. I especially liked the realistic portrait of love and the choices that sometimes come with it towards the end. The derring-do was great fun, and the plotting brisk. It felt like a fairy tale, an old tale many times told, with a certain underlying gravitas. Well-written doesn't exactly cover it. ...more
Mar 13, 2007 keidra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before she went crazy, Robin McKinley wrote some of the most awesome young adult fantasy out there. Her heroines were smart and plucky, with a bit of tasty pathos to keep things interesting. Aerin, the main character of HATC, is a dragon-slayer in training, while remaining decidedly introverted and bookish and not quite the most coordinated chick in town. She also has a love triangle (with SEX!)involving her second cousin and an immortal wizard dude. Needless to say, she was quite the hero for m ...more
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
3.5 Dragon Killer Stars

Ehhh...I have such a hard time reviewing fantasy books ---- saying what I really mean, but I'll give it a try.

This book didn't knock my socks off but I didn't not dislike it. It was good ---- a few times I had a hard time understanding what was going on because it seemed like the author skipped around without explaining in detail.

Other than that - this was a good YA Fantasy book that read quickly.
I cannot be impartial.

There are many reasons why I love this book, not least among them being the fact that it was actually the first Robin McKinley book I ever read, back in the days when I browsed library shelves at random and begged my parents into buying books for me, before I knew much about what I was really doing, and I count myself eternally lucky to have stumbled upon this book because it is, it really is, writing as art. It is not writing for money, as some books targeted at my age gro
Apr 07, 2008 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Basic Plot: Aerin is the mostly-left-to-her-own-devices, unconventional daughter of the king. After discovering a secret formula that can make her fireproof, she begins hunting dragons, which takes her on a journey to save the kingdom.

I bought a paperback of this book when I was in elementary school through one of those school book order programs (I was ADDICTED to them), and it was the first Robin McKinley book I ever read. It is now so battered and worn that I have actually been thinking about
Mar 01, 2008 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anytime I read The Blue Sword, I have to read The Hero and the Crown right after. I suppose I am unwilling to leave Robin McKinley's world too soon, so I extend my stay as long as I can.

The legendary Aerin from The Blue Sword is a solitary young woman in The Hero and the Crown. She grows up in her father's castle surrounded by those who hold her and her ancestry in suspicion and must find her place among them.

McKinley has a gift for creating heroines who do great, heroic things in a completely h
Apr 05, 2017 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, re-read, classic, ya
This book is an old favorite of mine, though this is the first time in many years that I've gone back to it. So it was interesting seeing it as a writer this time. It has an almost mythic quality to it that I think might frustrate some younger readers today, yet I think the style is a good choice for the story, and it still brought me to tears several times. (Oh, Talat.) (Also, I still want a giant hunting cat of my very own.)
Oct 16, 2011 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My nieces
Recommended to Terence by: GR Friends' reviews
It's always a pleasure seeing an author get better. In our last episode, I gave a less-than-enthusiastic review to The Blue Sword and so was a little hesitant to begin this book. But there were enough good points about McKinley's writing that I wasn't dreading the experience.

As it turns out, I enjoyed The Hero and the Crown much more than The Blue Sword. The story revolves around Arlbeth's (the king of Damar) daughter, Aerin, whose mother was a woman from the North (in McKinley's world, the Nort
I LOVED the first 2/3 of this book. Then, it started to drag and I had a hard time finishing it.

Aerin is a princess in the city of Damar. Her father is a good, righteous king and her mother died shortly after giving birth to Aerin. The people love her father, but they believe her mother was a witch and they don't trust her daughter. As a result, Aerin becomes a bit of a loner, her only real friend is Tor, the boy who will inherit the throne. All members of the royal family should develop magical
I really enjoyed the first half. Someone had recommended it in part because the heroine gets the prince and the wizard as lovers. Though the wizard isn't in the first half, the world created in this coming-of-age tale and the characters who people it are interesting and likeable. There's a bit much girl-and-her-pony stuff for my interest, but I wanted to know what would become of these characters. The growing love that Tor feels for Aerin is infused with the right amounts of sweetness and forbid ...more
First Second Books
Aw, poor Aerin at the beginning of this book. If she could just do SOMETHING right.

(At the same time -- I admit, I would never have the courage to cut off anyone's eyelashes! How does she even do that?)
Love. So much love. Reread my fancy new copy. Just love so much. The book that changed my life, essentially, and made me want to be an author!

C.E. Murphy
Jan 26, 2012 C.E. Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first several times I read THE HERO AND THE CROWN, I really had barely any idea what happened in the whole post-Luthe tower fight (I said deliberately vaguely, on the off chance somebody hasn’t read the book and doesn’t want to be spoiled).

The truth is, I find that a dozen re-reads later, and with full adulthood under my belt, I *still* think that whole section is like a bad acid trip. And I think it’s supposed to be, but honestly I’m *still* not *absolutely* sure what (or perhaps more accur
Jana Brown
This is not the first time I've read this book. Truth told I would be very hard pressed to pinpoint my first reading, though close to two decades might be pretty close, and there have been several readings since that time. Yeah, this is one of those kinds of books, a comfort book I come back to when I'm having those fits of not knowing what I want to read, but knowing I'll be satisfied when I'm done.

This read was fascinating to me because I've been doing a lot of editing lately and my brain kept
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Hampton Public Li...: We're going old school 1 7 Nov 07, 2015 10:47AM  
All About Fantasy!: The Hero and the Crown 1 6 Apr 02, 2015 06:43AM  
  • Dobry
  • Daniel Boone
  • The White Stag
  • Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon
  • Tales From Silver Lands
  • It's Like This, Cat
  • The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
  • Magician's Ward (Mairelon, #2)
  • Waterless Mountain
  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
  • The Kestrel (Westmark #2)
  • I, Juan de Pareja
  • Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children
  • The Story of Mankind
  • ...And Now Miguel
  • Roller Skates
  • Secret of the Andes
  • The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising, #4)
Born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, Robin McKinley grew up an only child with a father in the United States Navy. She moved around frequently as a child and read copiously; she credits this background with the inspiration for her stories.

Her passion for reading was one of the most constant things in her childhood, so she began to remember events, places, and time periods by what books
More about Robin McKinley...

Other Books in the Series

Damar (4 books)
  • The Blue Sword (Damar, #1)
  • Imaginary Lands
  • A Pool in the Desert

Share This Book

“He laughed, tried to make it into a cough, inhaled at exactly the wrong moment, and then really did cough.” 88 likes
“He will apologize, or I'll give him a lesson in swordplay he will not like at all.” 51 likes
More quotes…