The Blue Sword

By Robin McKinley

Added May 6, 2013

When Harry Crewe's father dies, she leaves her Homeland to travel east to Istan, the last outpost of the Homelander Empire. Harry is drawn to the bleak landscape of the northeast frontier and wishes she might cross the sands to climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot. This is where the Free Hillfolk live. She hears stories that the Free Hillfolk possess strange powers -- that they work magic -- that it is because of this that they remain free of the Homelander sway.  When Corlath, the king of the Free Hillfolk, comes to Istan to ask that the Homelanders and the Hillfolk set their enmity aside to fight a common foe, the Homelanders are reluctant to trust his word.  They are even more reluctant to believe his tales of the Northerners: that they are demonkind, not human.  Harry's destiny lies in the far mountains that she wishes to climb, and she rides to the battle with the North in the Hill-king's army. She bears the Blue Sword Gonturan, the chiefest treasure of the Hill-king's house and the subject of many legends of magic and mystery.  She does not know the Hillfolk language, nor does she 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? Book jacket image and book description courtesy HarperCollins. Used with permission.

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