McKinley’s great gift lies in her ability to create extraordinary characters who are really just ordinary people; they are remarkable in their normalcy, drawn for one reason or another into events beyond their control. At the center of this story is Aerin, the king’s daughter who wishes for nothing more than to ride at her father’s side into battle. Yet because she is not accepted as full royalty, she seems resigned to stay behind living the restrained life of a court lady. All that changes when she discovers a recipe at the back of an old book for a salve that will protect her from dragonfire, and gets the idea to go dragon-hunting with her father’s old warhorse and her cousin’s sword.
I’m only halfway through this one but I’ve laughed out loud on the bus more times than I can count, and been brought to tears by McKinley’s subtle way of describing seemingly indescribable feelings in three or four words. I can’t wait to finish it and start its companion, The Blue Sword.
A Newbery Medal Winner
Although she is the daughter of Damar's king, Aerin has never been accepted as full royalty. Both in and out of the royal court, people whisper the story of her mother, the witchwoman, who was said to have enspelled the king into marrying her to get an heir to rule Damar-then died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son. But none of them, not even Aerin herself, can predict her future-for she is to be the true hero who will wield the power of the Blue Sword...
“[The Hero and the Crown] confirms McKinley as an important writer of modern heroic fantasy, a genre whose giants include C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin.”—The Washington Post
“An utterly engrossing fantasy.”—The New York Times
About the Author
Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.