The/The Hero and the Crown Blue Sword Analysis

Robin McKinley

The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown are the first two books of a promised trilogy about the land of Damar. The Blue Sword takes place in the present, when Outlanders rule much of Damar. The Hero and the Crown, a “prequel,” tells the story of an earlier Damar before the Outlanders arrived. Harry and Aerin, the two female heroes, each must learn to master her psychic powers. In addition, both endure extensive training in swordplay to prepare them for battle with Damar’s long-standing enemy, the inhuman demon race of the North.

In The Blue Sword, Harry Crewe leaves her Homeland after her father’s death and goes to live at the outpost where her brother Richard is stationed. Harry is restless and oddly drawn to the hills beyond her new home. Corlath, the king of the last remaining Free Hillfolk not under Homelander rule, comes to plead with the Outlander superiors to unite with him against a common enemy. A psychic hunch tells Corlath that Harry is destined to be important to the Free Hillfolk, and he kid-naps her. Harry is discovered to possess an abundance of the psychic powers needed to defeat the Northerners. Mathin, one of the King’s elite Riders, puts Harry through a rigorous training period. Harry learns to ride Sungold, her new Hill horse, and to fight with a sword. She also learns to love her new home, and she makes many friends among both human and animal followers of Corlath. Harry eventually is given the sword that belonged to Lady Aerin, Dragon-Killer, a legendary female warrior who led Damar to victory against the North in an earlier era.

As the Free Hillfolk prepare for war, Harry must deal with the conflicting emotions of loyalty to her...

(The entire section is 711 words.)