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The Blue Sword

Author: The Blue Sword was written by Robin McKinley, the

author of other books, such as The Hero and the Crown. Both of

these books chronicle the continent of Daria.

Setting: Most of the book takes place in the small nation of Damar.

There are also scenes in an outpost in the Damarian desert, in

race’s, known as the Homelanders, outpost. One or two chapters

also take place in the far north.

Note: Harry Crewe is female in case you don’t pick that up.

Plot: An orphan young women, ‘Harry’ Crewe (Harry is what she

preferred to be called) is sent to a remote outpost of the

Homelander empire. The Homelanders are a very British-like race

of humans with about the technological ability of the mid 1800s.

The fort surrounds the town of Istan. At the residency Harry is

adopted by Sir Charles, and Lady Amelia, there the story begins.

Harry is discontented with life in Istan, she finds it boring and

mundane, any chance for excitement quickly catches her attention.

Damar, a medieval country that has been partly overrun by the

Homelanders, is threatened by the Northerners, a race of human,

and almost-human warriors.

Corlath, king of Damar, comes Istan to ask for the Homelander’s

help in closing his mountain passes against the threat. With his

small population, his army is not large enough to beat off a

concentrated Northern assault. Sir Charles, and Colonel Jack

Dedham, leader of the Homelander forces at the fort, receive

Corlath and offer him an insulting treaty. If he gives his country up,

his population will not be slaughtered. The Damarian king does not

take this lightly, he storms out as the Homelanders rush after him

to try to save the meeting.

As Corlath mounts his horse, he sees Harry Crewe and his

kelar, a type of sorcery that some Damarians are blessed with. The

Gift, as it is known, sometimes grants it’s users powers, and

sometimes doesn’t. Corlath’s kelar tells him that he must bring

Harry back to his city, it doesn’t explain why.

That night Corlath sneaks into Istan and steals Harry away. He

rides for many hours to a camp set up by his riders. At the feast

that night, he passes around the meeldtar, also known as the water

of sigh. This induces visions on all of those who have kelar. When

Harry tastes it, she collapses and sees scenes of a great battle, she

also uses an ancient language still spoken by few and one of which

she would have no way on learning.

After several nights in the camp she is formally introduced to

Mathin, one of Corlath’s riders. He teaches her the language of

Damar and they begin to forge a strong friendship. After about two

weeks of training in the camp, Mathin takes her away from the

camp to train her in the ways of swordsmanship and horsemanship.

Now a powerful warrior Harry is take to Corlath’s city, lying on

some of the only remaining plains of Damar. When she arrives on

the fields, she is entered in the Laprun Trials, a contest to tell the

most powerful warrior in Damar and the winning of a sash sliced

by Corlath. The sash in Damar is a signal that the person wearing it

may handle a sword.

Harry wins at the trials and is hailed throughout Damar as the

Laprun-Minta. In her battle with Corlath at the end, she cuts his

sash at the same he cuts hers, this is the first time it has ever


The next day, Corlath begins to muster his army, with no help

from the Homelanders, he hopes only to slow down the Northern

advance so, when the Homelanders realize the problem, they will

be able to destroy the Northerners. During the mustering period,

Harry rested and prepared for the coming battle. With her horse,

Tsornin, and the Blue Sword, which was given to her after the

trials, she trains.

When Corlath’s army departs from the city, Harry rides with

them. She and the other riders march hard until they reach the pass.

At this stop, in a briefing, Harry realizes that a pass to their west

could allow the Northerners through the pass and outflank their

army. Corlath will not acknowledge this and Harry leaves the

camp, intending to block the pass herself.

On her way, she runs into two friends from her camp who have

been following her. They decide to go to the Homelander station to

seek help from her old friends. In the end of a few days of

recruiting, their force contains a few dozes cavalrymen, some

archers from outlanding Damarian villages, and fifty men from a

Damarian lord.

When they fortify the pass, they hope to only face only a small

fraction of the Northern force. They ended up facing a force of

thousands with barely one hundred warriors. Worst of all, the

Northern forces were lead by Thurra, a demonic king.

In the first melee, the Damarians push back the Northerners into

the valley behind the pass but are surrounded, when they come out,

they find half of there number missing. Harry is also wounded in a

battle with Thurra.

After a brief rest the Northerners return, this time hoping to

slaughter all of the Damarian forces. Harry climbes a mountain and

her kelar forces the mountains to crumble down upon the Northern

army. This kills all of their soldiers including Thurra.

Harry moves on to marry Corlath and have several kids with

him. Jack Dedham moves to the Damarian city and lives there as a

queen’s rider for the rest of his life. Damar opens diplomatic

relations with the Homelander empire and the two become great


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