The Blue Sword

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Author: Robin McKinley

Age Range: Pre Teens+

Period: Future

Genres:  Fantasy


The context of the story is a fictional setting where a civilised people not too dissimlar to the British of the Empire have come to live in a country originally populated by a hill people with a rich history shot through with magic. These native Damarians ask the Outlanders (settlers) for help in defending themselves against their enemies the demonic Northeners. They are turned down and, on an impulse, their leader Corlath steals Harry, houseguest of the Commissioner. Harry finds herself with no choice, but nonetheless finds settling in with the Damarians. She discovers that she shares the unpredictable kelar (magical ability) of many of them, and goes on to become a King's rider, helped by the shade of Lady Aerin, former heroine of the nation. Eventually she sets off on her own with two friends to stop a weakness in the Damarians defence which has been overlooked. In the process, she causes the bulk of the Northern army to be buried under half a mountain. When she returns to the king, he marries her...and they all live happily ever after.


Very readable; not the tub-thumping feminist epic which one suspects from the first pages; I guess the protagonist is a girl because the author could most easily identify with her. Just the right mixture of action, romance and friendship, kindness &c.

Tuesday 1st January 2002