Cassie's Reviews > The Blue Sword

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
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Jun 23, 08

Recommended to Cassie by: John Wiswell
Recommended for: Everyone.
Read in June, 2008

An amazing ride. Beautifully descriptive with plenty of action and magic, The Blue Sword has earned a place on my "books I read over and over again" shelf.

The Blue Sword I found most fascinating and enjoyable for its setting. It takes place over three locations: Home, Damar, and The Hills. Theses places put me in mind of England, Gibraltar, and Morocco for the transitions from cool and simple green lands filled with leaves and gentle horses into unknown deserts filled with magic and mystery. Truly, this book could be read just for the description of tents and horses. As a girl who was never into the Black Beauty series and never romanticized horses as a child, I nevertheless found the horses and riding to be some of the best descriptions in the book.

What romantic interest there is between the characters is unexpected, not at all formulaic and therefore sweet and wonderful when it takes you by surprise.

The hill magic, kelar is also a fantastic addition to the text and rather than feeling pasted on or "Hey look, magic!" it is a rare part of life that is treated as both a gift and a maddening annoyance.

The presence of a female warrior protagonist is refreshingly human. Harry is far from the standard chainmail bikini clad, sword wielding, confidence oozing chosen one. As a reader I empathized with her confusion, bruises, discomfort, and annoyance. Harry often has moments of stating that she would really rather skip the mystery and know what is going on. When she gains skills and defeats foes, there is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. My favorite part is that I actually didn't know what was going to happen. Harry is not the sort of heroine where you don't even frown when she meets the main bad guy because of course he'll be defeated. However, the situation is not so doomed as to be completely hopeless, where a victory would be utterly improbable and the result of a deus ex machina. You have faith in Harry's fighting abilities, as well as concern at the hordes she encounters.

I loved this book. Love love love love loved it.
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