Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Blue Sword

Harry Crewe is forced to move to the Darian colony after the death of her father. She then is kidnapped by the Free Hillfolk where she has to face her destiny.

Beth says 5 Stars...

I'm going to preface this by saying that this is possibly my favorite book of all time. I just reread it because I'm a bit stressed, and so I immediately reached for it. This is the kind of book that won't leave you alone; it sticks in your mind, or that's at least what's happened to me. I've read it more times than I can count, and even after over seven years it still remains fresh and meaningful. I now even embrace the orange juice chapter. If you pick the book up, just make it through the first chapter. I know it's a bit tedious at first, but it's so beyond worth it. I'm really not sure what makes me love this book so much. One of the key factors, perhaps, is McKinley's astounding writing. Her prose is so lovely and lyrical that it's impossible to break away from. The plot is moved along masterfully, with nothing being revealed at an inopportune time. Besides its construction, the content of the novel is fantastic. The world of Damar is fascinating, with the people and cultured so developed. Everything is so layered, and it feels as though the pages are steeped in a history that feels real.

The characters are striking. They have such astounding depth and now feel like old friends after so many reads (I've REALLY read this one a lot). Harry is simply fantastic. She isn't the typical heroine, bookish and awkward, but with a beautiful strength and resilience. She and Corlath have a lovely relationship that moves from one emotion and stage to another without ever feeling contrived. Corlath himself is a delight, walking the line between being a haughty ruler and a man fighting for his country. The supporting characters are phenomenal as well, with my two favorites being Jack and Mathin. Jack is just too much fun, bringing his wry humor to the table. Mathin is almost the opposite, but suffers not from it. They both serve as fatherly types and show how different the position can be, even when done properly.

Overall this book is astounding. I simply adore it, and will love it for the rest of my life. I think that it's something that everyone should read, regardless of genre tastes. If you haven't picked it up yet, do so now. Just remember, don't give up on the orange juice chapter; the adventure begins just a bit later, and will keep you spellbound for years to come.


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