Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!
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This week, I’m daring you to read a YA fantasy, that reads more like a romantic fantasy. I began reading as many book by Robin McKinley as possible, when I fell in love with her writing, while reading Sunshine. However, out of all her books, my favorite remains THE BLUE SWORD, and that’s why I’m daring you to read it.
I must warn you: don’t be fooled by its cover. I admit, some people might avoid this type of fantasy cover because they aren’t very fond of the genre. I felt the same way at first. It might not be the most attractive cover out there, but the imagery in the book makes up for it a thousand times. Robin McKinley created a wonderful world and described everything so well. After reading the novel, it felt as if I had truly visited the hills of Damar.
While the novel has many fantasy elements, it’s also a book of romance, friendship and self-discovery. We follow the main character, Harry, as she embraces her new life among the Hillfolk. Forced into this new life, I really felt her hesitancy and fears when she was kidnapped. While Robin McKinley romanced the idea of kidnappings a bit, I love the fact that I never considered Harry a prisoner. She was simply an addition to the Hillfolk camp and started to dress, act and speak like a native in no time. When I realized that the Hillfolk King, Corlath, kidnapped her because of something he felt through his kelar (or magic), it’s only then that I understood Harry was no ordinary girl. The romantic tension between Harry and Corlath was very subtle at first, even non-existant, but as I learnt more and more about the two characters, I began cheering for them and their fight against Northerners.
If you haven’t read a book by Robin McKinley, you’re really missing something. Here’s a bit more about 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?
Newbery Honor Award
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book
The Newbery Award Winnner, The Hero and the Crown is the prequel to The Blue Sword. The prequel can either be read before or after The Blue Sword. Also, both can be read as standalones.