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Have Sword, Will Travel

(Have Sword, Will Travel #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  545 ratings  ·  129 reviews
It is strange enough that Odo and Eleanor have stumbled upon a sword in a dried-up river outside their village. It is even stranger that Odo is able to remove it from where it's buried. And it's REMARKABLY strange when the sword starts to talk.

Odo and Eleanor have unearthed Biter, a famous fighter from earlier times. By finding Biter, Odo instantly becomes a knight - a rol
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Scholastic Press
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Jamie No, there is a second book in the series, that came out October 30th, 2018.

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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  545 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Breezed through this in no time. Simple fantasy story about 2 friends who find talking sword and go on an adventure. Nothing overly original or 5 star but dialogue is witty, pace is great and characters quite charming. Obviously a YA type fantasy novel but could appeal to readers who have kids in their young to mid teens. Has great themes that arent ro adult minded. Made me chuckle a few times. Will probably pick up the 2nd when it arrives if I want a light quick easy fantasy read.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-review
What’s better than stumbling upon an ancient sword lying in a river? Well, how about stumbling upon an ancient sword in a river, pulling it out and having it yell at you! Have Sword, Will Travel is the beginning of a compelling adventure featuring Odo, Eleanor and an enchanted, talking sword named Biter. Odo and Eleanor have grown up with a quiet village life and Odo is content with their day-to-day activities but Eleanor has always dreamed of being a knight, saving people and doing something la ...more
Will Ansbacher
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
A fantasy adventure involving two children, Eleanor and Odo, and a magical talking sword called Hildebrand FoeBiter. Biter is an inspired creation - obliging but overbearing, always on the ready to avenge the slightest wrong, imagined or real. A classic sidekick in other words, keen of edge but less so in the brains department. Conveniently, he doesn’t so much talk as declaim portentously in boldy-face - very handy when reading to my 7 and 11-year old granddaughters who were both enthralled by ...more
Cameron Chaney
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix & Sean Williams is the first book in a new middle-grade fantasy series... a start to yet another series, yay. It is about two kids who find an enchanted sword, and then go on adventures with it. That's the basic plot of the story and it doesn't really steer away from that. It's just a simple, cute fantasy-adventure.

I had to read this for my library review group. I like fantasy and thought this looked to be a fun read, but I didn't connect to the character
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The premise sounded really cool and the title was very eye-catching. I also wanted to read this book because it was co-written by an author I like, Garth Nix. I've read his Keys to the Kingdom series and really liked it, so I had somewhat high expectations for this book.

Have Sword, Will Travel is an adventure unlike any other. The story follows two heroes in the making, Odo and Eleanor, as they travel far and wide to discover why the river is drying up.From start to finish is a non-stop journey
Ms. Yingling
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Typical medievalish fantasy with dragons and talking swords, although there are women knights as well as millers. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Since it's a fantasy world, I guess it's okay, but it doesn't reflect the reality of the middle ages, so I'm conflicted. Not my cup of tea, but it's a good length and my fantasy readers will love it. Has sort of a Gerald Morris vibe, and that series does very well.
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Catelli
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Odo and Eleanor, poking about in a river that was rapidly sinking despite the rain, were looking for eels. What they found was a magical sword.

It cut Odo's finger, and the blood roused it - the blood of a true knight. Except he's not. So the sword knights him on the spot. And with one thing and another, Eleanor becomes his squire, and they set out to find out why the river is failing.

A light high fantasy ensues.

It involves Eleanor's father rebuking the sword for asking for his name without givin
Tbh if I were a super mega powerful dragon I too would refer to myself as "The Mighty [name]"
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A quick, fun read about magic swords and bandits and dragons and best friends. It's also funny and occasionally silly and will keep readers entertained from start to finish. It also has some good messages to convey about not making assumptions based on appearance and gender equality and stuff, but they never get in the way of or distract from the story.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This review and others posted over at my blog.

I picked this up because I’m a big fan of Nix’s work (and middle-grade fantasy) and it was…meh.

Odo and Eleanor are likable enough, though I didn’t really connect or empathize with them. I did appreciate the tension surrounding Eleanor’s desire to be a knight and the jealousy she experienced at Odo’s suddenly becoming one. Yet, she never sabotaged his efforts at learning swordcraft from Biter and was a constant support, all while watching what Biter
Clare O'Beara
This is a very enjoyable book for young readers, four and a half stars. I like particularly that every role is equal opportunity, from hero to villain, from talking sword to occupations like miller.

Our two young heroes find an old enchanted sword in the dried-up riverbed. The sword talks, nicely in a gothic script, which will help if you are reading aloud. As the sword Biter insists on dubbing his finder a knight - to the miller's son's dismay, and the annoyance of his girl pal who really does
Andrew Greenlaw-Houldsworth
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Slam dunk. I've always been a fan of Nix (particularly the Keys to the Kingdom and Abhorsen series) and Williams only made the writing better! This is a fantastic first adventure full of magic, danger, and wit. I particularly enjoyed the lack of sexism, and the lovable cast of characters. Feels like a story I grew up with, in the spirit of Wrede or Rowling, but more Wrede, who's a better writer, so there you go.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to come - loved it!
Kat Drennan-Scace
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy, 2017
This was cute! A fun adventure story that middle grade readers will enjoy. I listened to some of the audiobook which was also enjoyable. Would recommend to adventure fans looking for a quick read.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. I liked the fantasy and wit. The characters were interesting, and there was a lot of action, which made this a quick read. I am hoping for another book involving this duo.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute story, interesting plot, ended on a bit of a cliff hanger
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a kids book, but "Have Sword, Will Travel" is awesome. Very funny, with a talking enchanted sword. Garth Nix wrote the Sabriel series (one of my keeper shelf series) with a necromancer and a talking cat too.

I liked all the humor and the adventure.
Douglas Debner
May 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book for non-thinking readers. A lot of what happens in this book is just stupid. Two kids, Odo and Eleanor, find a talking magic sword and immediately are coerced into thinking of themselves as a knight and a squire and leaving on a mission to kill a dragon. The adults they inform of their plans just point out the need for provisions and a map and let them go. No one thinks to say "Don't you think you ought to practice with that sword first?"

[BTW, the following contains SPOILERS becau
Mark Buxton
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My name is Odo, and the river has dried up for some unknown reason. I discovered a sword at the bottom of Dragonfoot Hole, and the enchanted blade called Biter told me it could only be awakened by a knight! I thought, "What? Me?" My best friend Eleanor has dreamt of living a life of adventure as a knight, while I'm content to become a miller like my father. Anyhow, I'm now Sir Odo, Eleanor has agreed to be my squire, and we're on a quest to bring water back to the river. We've passed many travel ...more
American Mensa
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Have Sword, Will Travel is an amazing book set back in medieval times. This book is about a brother and sister named Odo and Eleanor who are trying to save their small village which is running out of water.
Odo just wants to work in the family mill, but Eleanor wants to be a knight. While hunting eels one day, they come across a magical talking sword named Hildebrand Shining Foebiter that knights Odo. The sword convinces him and Eleanor to travel upstream to find out why the river that supplies w
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Nix, Garth and Sean Williams Have Sword Will Travel, 288 pages. Scholastic, 2017. $18. Content: G (fantasy-style fighting)

When Odo stumble upon the sword in a dried up lake outside his village, he has no idea that this long-lost magic sword will compel him to become a hero. It’s his best friend Eleanor who wants to be a hero like her mother was. But something fishy is going on upriver of Odo’s little village. The water that everyone depends on has slowed to a trickle. When the sword, Odo, and El
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Live by the Sword.. Die by the Sword.. No matter how often the Sword yells at you.."
An epic story that follows the chivalrous adventure of Odo, Eleanor and Biter - an unlikely knight, a stubborn, head strong girl and.. a talking sword.. They set out on a thrilling adventure to save their kingdom from the danger that comes in both human and dragon form. This was a very fun story to read that I was easily engrossed in and enjoyed a laugh or two. I particularly liked the use of 'medieval' font fo
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Odo is a miller's son and content to be so, living in his small village with his family and having a best friend in Eleanor. So when he accidentally pulls an ancient, mouthy, talking sword from the mud of the dwindling river, and it knights him, Odo is less than thrilled. Eleanor is less than thrilled, too, because she really wants to be a knight, like her mother. Now she's stuck being the squire to a reluctant knight, and the sword--Biter--is insisting they go off on a quest. They decide to try ...more
Probably a 4.5.
Odo, the miller's seventh son, has always thought that is what he would grow up to be. Eleanor, the daughter of the village's healer, wants to be a knight like her mother. But when Odo finds a sword in the river. It just has to be magical and insist on adventure that Eleanor insists on joining in.
Like I said. Probably a 4.5 star book. It was good. But simple. Though, I also need to acknowledge that I just went from reading epic high fantasy to tween fantasy. There is a difference
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Odo and Eleanor are best friends living a boring existence in a small village. This is fine with Odo who doesn't really want any excitement or danger in his life, but for Eleanor it's like a prison. She knows that she would make an amazing knight, just like her mother.

Then Odo pulls a magical blade out of the muck of a river and finds himself knighted, and with a quest to save his village and many others, from the terrible dragon Quenwulf. With Eleanor taking on the role of Odo's squire the two
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
Have Sword, Will Travel
Garth Nix and Sean Williams
~fantasy, childrens, adventure/quest, girl and boy, knight and squire, dragon, growing up

Such a fun book!!! I devoured this one in a day.

Odo and Eleanor have different definitions of 'adventure.' Eleanor wants excitement and to be like her knight mother. Odo is pretty okay with routine and being a millers' son. Things are set on their head when they find a sword and Odo accidentally awakens it and is knighted by it, after they get over the shock
Emily Craven
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this middle-grade lark, which reminded me soooooo strongly of Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Kingdom chronicles. Delightful book about two young people who find a talking sword in a river, accidentally get knighted and thrown into a quest. I loved how the authors ended up solving most problems with wit rather than violence (which can be a trap to gain much needed 'action' points). The characters were charming, the plot galloped along, and it was a lot of fun from start to finish (and finish it ...more
Okay so this was good— I am a sucker for "lost history" narratives, and I like me some friendship and coming of age— but it was also AMAZING how aggressively not-pushing the boundaries it was. The only thing it was doing new was the (view spoiler) thing. Maybe. I think I've seen that before.

And I mean, it's still good, but if I hadn't seen it on New Releases I would have assumed it was written 20 years ago, and if it wasn't for the fact that there were women knigh
Christine H
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Almost 5 stars :)

I picked this book up because of the slogan that was pitched to me: “Live by the sword … Die by the sword … No matter how often the sword yells at you.” Seriously, Squinks, you’ll get sucked in because of the talking sword, but you’ll stay for the adventures.

1. Odo and Eleanor are great friends, and that, for me is the mark of a great story. Odo is thoughtful and patient, but he doesn’t necessarily want to be a knight. Eleanor, on the other hand, is also considerate, but a littl
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Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


Other books in the series

Have Sword, Will Travel (2 books)
  • Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (Have Sword, Will Travel #2)