by Robin McKinley
Published: October 1st, 1982
Publisher: William Morrow
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Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Free Hillfolk. When Corlath, the Hillfolk King, sees her for the first time, he is shaken -- for he can tell that she is something more than she appears to be. He will soon realize what Harry has never guessed: she is to become Harimad-sol, King's Rider, and carry the Blue Sword, Gonturan, which no woman has wielded since the legendary Lady Aerin bore it into battle, generations past.Warning: This YAck contains (minor) spoilers!
Laura: I was TERRIBLY disappointed when "the fourth way to make fire" (which the king might one day show her) DID NOT TURN OUT TO BE SEX. Oh, that might be a spoiler for someone. If so, unread it.
But that's the only thing.
This book. My heart. *swoon*
I've probably read too many romances. But sparks between mages is the first thing that came to mind. And well, that SHOULD have been the fourth reason.
Sya: So not reading it now.
Nicole: I'm picking it up later today. :D
Laura: OK. So. Um. I want to live in this world. I finished it late last night and woke up homesick. My friends are there and I miss them. How do I get back?
OMG THIS BOOK. I could cry from all THE THINGS I AM FEELING. And did. Most certainly did. Can we talk about it now, or do I have to wait? Please don't make me wait.
Sya read this. It will make you feel better. It will fix your heart.
Chachic: Are we talking about The Blue Sword here? I haven't started rereading it yet.
Donna: Ladies, I tried. I really did. I even picked it back up AFTER I DNFed it at Laura's insistence to try again and failed. I just can't connect. The voice has it's palm shoved firmly in my face and I can't get any closer. I didn't find anything inherently wrong with it. I did feel the plot did jump around a bit at the beginning with all the exposition-telling and my eyes got a bit bobbly but it leveled out after that. I just . . . the voice bored me. It had this monotonous hum to it that sounded like Ben Stein in my head movies and kept me from getting anywhere near it. So I will put this one gently back on the table and walk away slowly . . .
Chachic: Donna, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you but at least you gave it a try. It has been proven many times in our YAckers discussions that we can't always like the same books.
I just started rereading this! Came across one of my favorite lines in the book:
“She had always suffered from a vague restlessness, a longing for adventure that she told herself severely was the result of reading too many novels when she was a small child.”
Laura: And THIS BOOK. STILL. THIS ONE. I am so in love. TALK.
Chachic: Finished reading it in one day, I couldn't resist because it's just as good as I remembered. Still one of my favorite fantasy novels. I need more books like this in my life!
Heidi: Finally finished this! Sorry ladies, I was dreadfully ill last week and spent all my time watching Disney and Harry Potter in bed (on the up side, I finally finished season 6 of Buffy. On the down side, Whedon found a way to kill my attraction to Spike). And um, I'm pretty much in Laura's corner with this one. IN LOVE.
For me it was utterly perfect. I can logically tell myself that there are a number of people (like Donna) who don't like McKinley's voice or pacing, but this is also one where I have such a hard time understanding because I don't see it. I love this world, and I love these people. So excited to read The Hero and the Crown now.
Angie: Heidi. I just . . . I love you for loving this world and these people.
Heidi: It's also such a stark contrast to everything else I've been reading lately. Lots of 2 star books and thinking 'maybe it's me, maybe I'm in a mood' when really they must just suck because there ARE great books out there.
Lots of bravery in this one. Bravery tugs at my heartstrings like nothing else--it's the one thing that will consistently get me to cry because it's always epic and stupid and daring all at once.
Donna: I feel sad. :(
Melissa: You have left me with nothing to say. This one has been reread so many times in my house that the book has been duct taped together. I can understand how McKinley's voice isn't for everyone; I have to admit that her more recent books have turned me off. But Harry? Harry is wonderful and amazing (and Corlath? *swoon*), and I adore the world that McKinley has created. It's wonderfulness all around.
Oh, I guess I did find something to say. :D
Chachic: Heidi, sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well last week. I hope you're all better now? It makes me so happy that you fell in love with your first ever Robin McKinley read! She's one of my favorite authors and I love how her novels have a fairy tale feel to them.
Melissa, I've reread this many times as well. It never gets old. I shouldn't have been surprised that it made me want to stay up all night reading even though I had work the next day.
Melissa: Chachic: Agreed: this one never gets old. Ever.
Heidi: So we all have a tacit agreement that RA is Corlath, right?
Chachic: Heidi, yep!