I’m actually a little excited to be joining the lovely ladies at Alexa Loves Books and Hello Chelly on the Flights of Fantasy challenge. They also have a little book club going on a bi-monthly basis, and this month, the books up for discussion are Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword. This is me joining in with my two cents (because I fear I get wordy and posting a comment on their blogs might get a little crazy, haha.)
From Alexa Loves Books:
The first month of our Flights of Fantasy Book Club is officially over! In January, we invited you to read The Hero and the Crown & The Blue Sword along with us. Today, both Rachel of Hello Chelly and I will be sharing our thoughts on each book, as well as answering three questions – and we’re asking those who read the books to share their own answers, whether in the comments or in a post of their own.
Aerin could not remember a time when she had not known the story; she had grown up knowing it.
It was the story of her mother, the witchwoman who enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir that would rule Damar; and it was told that she turned her face to the wall and died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son.
Aerin was that daughter.
But there was more of the story yet to be told; Aerin’s destiny was greater than even she had dreamed–for she was to be the true hero who would wield the power of the Blue Sword…
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?
Growing up, there weren’t very many female heroes to look up to. For some reason, however, I stumbled upon three whose stories forever stayed with me. Two of them happen to be Aerin and Harry. Their personalities are rather similar, in that they are both independent, strong women looking to find a place in a usually man-infested world. Turns out they can both wield Gonturan, which is pretty much a big deal, and they both kick ass. The adventure stories in The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword were epic in proportions, and I highly recommend them.
1. Who is your favorite character? Aerin Aerin Aerin! Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve read The Blue Sword so it’s hard to remember the traits that separated Harry from Aerin, but I do remember liking Aerin much more because I loved her, faults and strengths both.
2. Which is your favorite book? The Hero and the Crown! I mean, come on. It has a rambunctious princess who slays dragons, becomes a demi-goddess (of sorts), and winds up turning into a legend for the ages. And it has Tor. Tor is pretty awesome, too.
(I’ve also re-read The Hero and the Crown quite a number of times now, which kind of tells you how much I prefer it over The Blue Sword…)
3. Would you read more books by this author? Oh, I adore McKinley. I’ve read–and own–a number of her books at this rate, and personal favorites include Beauty and Deerskin. Beauty is an adorable retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Deerskin is one of the rare books that made me cry, because it was intensity and heartbreak and loveliness all wrapped up into one. It’s also a retelling of Donkeyskin, one of my favorite fairy tales of all time. I’ve been meaning to pick up Spindle’s End, which is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, so here’s hoping I love that book too.