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Reviews of Blue Sword, the (1982)

Review by blueworld (2005-08-17)
The Blue Sword is one of the classic Fantasy coming-of-age tales. This is the story of Harry, a lonely tomboy sent to the frontier of her expansionist nation. She has a unique destiny in the hills, where the magic that her countrymen have denied in favor of their developing technology may still live. Among the Hillfolk there are still legendary heroes.

My favorite aspect of this story is the juxtoposition of Damarian and Homelander values. In the Homelands, Harry is a strange tomboy unfit for polite society. But in the new kingdom she enters, she discovers that horsemanship and swordplay make her a truer woman than wearing pretty dresses and serving tea. The prescribed roles in the societies differ, and one is more natural to Harry than the other. And each is portrayed with as much richness and depth, as much internal consistency and sensitivity to its characters, as McKinley can fit into one short book.

The Blue Sword is highly recommended to all young people interested in Fantasy. This is a classic, maybe THE classic, tale of female coming-of-age.

Review by bibliocrazy (2004-04-20)
one of my favorite books ever. somewhat, i know this had to do with *when* i first read it: 13, wanting to escape middle school, a bookworm with all of a sudden very poofy hair, glasses, braces, and hormones gone crazy. so, escapism was kinda high on my list of priorities :D but i keep coming back to this book every few years due to the incredible richness of the story. i love the little idosyncracies that don't *really* have to be there but add so much to the story, like the two sisters, jack whatever-his-last-name-is, that beautiful cat, a mention of boys where had silent crushes on harry, etc etc. sigh. **making a mental note to settle down with the book tonight**

Review by jenneheise (2003-07-03)
While The Blue Sword contains a number of the devices of young women's fantasy fiction-- tomboy girl swept away from all she has known, abducted, trained in fighting, finding herself in command of a powerful new gift-- McKinley's characters have a richness and three-dimensional quality that captures the imagination.
Both the heroine, 'Harry', and Corlath, the king of Damar, struggle not only with their destinies and their visions, as well as the clash of cultures. But what brings me back to this book again and again is the writing style, not just the happy ending; the humor, the depth, and the sparkle.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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