The Blue Sword

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Title: The Blue Sword Author: Robin McKinley Illustrator: n/a Publisher: New York; Puffin Books

Genre: Modern Fantasy Level: Upper Number of pages: 272 Pub. Date: 1982

Summary:

Harry moves to Damar after her father’s death to be closer to her only real family, her brother, Richard. However, when the Hillfolk’s King Corlath comes to town Harry’s life changes. Corlath kidnaps her and she begins to learn the way of the Hillfolk. Soon she is a member of the king’s riders and carries the famous blue sword. She fights with the Hillfolk to save both of the communities that are a part of her life.

Critique:

This book is a high fantasy with characteristics of magical adventures.  Harry is the hero in the story going on a quest to save both her home country and the magical Hillfolk who’s culture she becomes a part of. However, there are also many examples of magic found in this story. Including when Harry is captured and The Hillfolk’s King walks through walls to get to her. This book is set in a made up desert setting in a time that seems stuck between medieval and modern. One characteristic of this book that makes me believe it is particularly good fantasy is that many of the characters don’t believe that the magic is possible. This helps to create a sense of realism in the story that helps to make the magic that much more special.

Response:

I love, love, loved this book. Harry was a very relatable character. She is sad about her father dying but at the same time is excited to be in her new home. Then after the Hillfolk abduct her; she struggles with her fear and curiosity. These feelings are all one’s that most can relate to.  I feel like I am like Harry in that I am curious about surroundings when ever I am some place new. I have moved seven times and each time although it is frightening I am interested to find out about the new surrounding.

Assignments:

            During: Students will imagine they are in Harry’s place and write about what they would do.

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