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Review: The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

The Blue SwordThe Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mostly enjoyable but the pace stumbles a little bit in lots of places and the beginning feels a little stilted compared to the rest of the book. You can argue that it fits with Harry’s character at that point but I don’t think that carries any real weight: the writing and pacing feels a little unsure of itself until we get to the training montage.

It’s a very ’80s novel: Harry takes uppers during her training so she can spend more time learning things and suffers nothing worse than needing to sleep a lot when she comes down. She also has a fabulous horse that seems almost human in its behaviour, as well as making friends with a giant cat. But these are sins that this book shares with any number of similar stories from the same period, rather like we can’t read a YA book these days that doesn’t use high school as a metaphor for the society that the protagonist is trying to bring down. And of course, thanks to Avatar, we’re all now suspicious of “white saviours” who join a different culture, master their esoteric skills in no time flat and save the world. Which is a pity because Harry is quite a bit more than that in a lot of ways.

But she’s a great character and she has some excellent adventures in a really vivid world that oozes with artlessly placed clues about its history and people. It’s a real shame that this didn’t spawn more sequels than it did.

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~ by stuffianlikes on January 26, 2017 .