The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley

91248c38bd1b3ca593038325667434f414f4141I’ve been in the mood for comfort reading lately. I do have some weightier books also in progress, but I’m finding I can’t get through a 784 page book that’s not about the happiest themes in the world without breaks. (I don’t use this blog to get political, but I’m sure if you pay attention to my location, hints I’ve dropped about my background, and general likes, it’s not a stretch to figure out where I fall out on the recent elections.) I have read this book before, but lord only knows when – it could be anywhere from high school on.

This is one of my favorite of McKinley’s books. It’s wholly original (at least half her work is inspired by fairy tales and other folklore) – Harry Crewe goes to live in the desert frontier town her brother has been posted to in the colonies after their father dies. Harry’s background is very English colonial, and Damar, the land she finds herself in, has the definite stamp of the desert countries of our Middle East, but with magic, and women that are equal to the men.

For reasons it’s better to read about, the King kidnaps Harry, but treats her with all honor, and she quickly rises up into the ranks of the kingdom’s heroes. And it’s just in time, as the Northern Kingdom is invading, and threatens both the Damarians, and Harry’s people.

This sounds way more simplistic than this book actually is – it’s such a richer story than what I can convey, and I need to reread it more often. Comfort reading at its finest.

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